A Polymath Physicist On Richard Feynman’s “Low” IQ And Finding Another Einstein

Jonathan Wai:

I encountered Steve by sending him an email to ask a question about one of his papers. After a few rapid fire email exchanges I found myself on the phone with him for over an hour the very next day discussing topics as wide ranging as his interests. He’s one of the first people I have met that I would definitely consider a polymath in that his expertise spans multiple disciplines (including my own). After our talk I sent him some questions. We covered everything from physics and Richard Feynman’s supposedly “low” IQ to his latest research in intelligence. Finally, I asked him if he thought we would ever find another Einstein.
1. In a nutshell, tell me what your physics research is about.
I’m interested in the basic constituents of nature (“fundamental particles”) and the rules that govern their interactions (“quantum field theory” or “quantum gravity”). My work involves things like quarks, black holes, the big bang, and quantum mechanics.