Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS is a theoretical physicist at the University of Surrey iK where he holds a Distinguished Chair in physics as well as a university chair in the public engagement in science. He received his PhD in nuclear reaction theory in 1989 and has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in the field. He is currently co-director of the Leverhulme Doctoral Training Centre for Quantum Biology at Surrey. A prominent author and broadcaster, he has written 14 books, between them translated into 26 languages, including Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science. He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries, such as the BBC’s Science and Islam in 2008. For the past nine years he has hosted the award-winning weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific. Al-Khalili is a past president of British Humanists Association (now Humanists UK) and a past president of the British Science Association. He is a trustee of the Institute of Physics and a member of the judging panel of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. He is a recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal, the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. He received an OBE in 2007 for ‘services to science’.
How Indian Mathematics transformed the world:
Jim Al-Khalili in conversation with William Dalrymple
Ancient Indian mathematics and astronomy were well ahead of their time as Aryabhata and Brahmagupta pioneered the decimal and numeric system we use today. Here, theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster, Jim al- Khalili talks to William Dalrymple about their discoveries and how that reached the rest of the world via Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi in Abbasid Baghdad and Fibonacci in Renaissance Florence.