Frank Wilczek is a theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate (2004). Thanks to recruitment program of the Swedish Research Council he has now landed at the department of Physics at Stockholm University with a 60 million grant for 10 years. We had the pleasure to ask him a few questions about his plans for the future.
You came to Stockholm on several occasions, two worth mentioning are certainly the Nobel prize in 2004 and then again in 2013 to receive the Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture medal. Hopefully you have good memories from both. How was your reaction when you received the offer for moving (partially) to Sweden for the next 10 years?
Betsy and I have had wonderful experiences in Sweden, and so when the opportunity to spend more time here opened up, we were pre-disposed to consider it sympathetically. Now we are also finding that the possibilities for creative scientific and cultural work here are very attractive.
Stockholm is also hosting The Oskar Klein Centre and Nordita; has this played any role in your decision to move to Sweden?
Yes, the presence of a vital scientific community is inspiring. I look forward both to participating in and helping to organize international workshops and visitor programs. The OKC and Nordita are recognized brands, and draw excellent scientists from around the world. So that’s a big head start.
What is your plan in Stockholm for the coming years?
My main plan is to continue to do creative scientific work, and significant public outreach. Besides bringing in workshops and visitors, I will give short lecture series on current topics in theoretical physics. I also hope to help attract new students, postdocs, and young faculty to Stockholm, building on its existing strengths.
I should also mention that my wife Betsy is doing very interesting work at the Nobel Museum, organizing future exhibits, and I’ll be keeping in touch with that.
What would make this a successful experience for you?
I’ll be pleased if I can keep learning and making new discoveries, and to share my joy in those endeavors. I also hope to build on existing relationships, to make new friends, and to help others do good work.
Do you already have your special favourite spot in town?
In a general way, I love to walk by the water. We’ve also got a big kick out of the restaurant Koh Phangan, and the vegan ice cream at StikkiNikki.
It is a privilege for the Department of Physics to have Frank Wilczek as a member of our staff. We look forward for exciting years ahead.