David Tong, Theoretical Physicist: Outreach

David Tong: Explaining Science

I regularly speak at events for the general public where I try to get across the wonder and beauty of our Universe and our current attempts to understand it. I'm happy to talk on cosmology, particle physics, quantum physics, string theory and anything along similar lines.

In recent years, I've been lucky enough to talk at venues that range from the Royal Society, to the Tate Gallery, to the Hay festival and rock festivals such as lattitude and wilderness. I've also had lots of fun working with the wonderful people at Salon London.

Below is a collection of tv and radio recordings, together with some essays and presentations.

Quantum Field Theory

    A Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution describing quantum field theory.


    The LMS Popular Lecture 2017: The unreasonable effectiveness of physics in mathematics.

String Theory

A Day in My Life: Solitons and Baths

More Talks

    A talk on General Relativity, given to school maths and physics students aged 16-17.

    When people came into my office and said: "Quick...explain general relativity at a level for school students"

More TV

    Morgan Freeman's "Through the Wormhole", in which I attempt to build a black hole by throwing in too much information.

Random Radio


  • The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics     PDF    
    A description of the work of Haldane, Kosterlitz, and Thouless on topological phases of matter. This was written for Mathematics Today

  • Einstein and Relativity    
    How Einstein discovered the theory of relativity. This is based on a talk I gave at the South Bank Centre. The slides of the talk can be found here. I also made a video where I tried to describe what Einstein's equation of general relativity means.

  • Physics and the Integers   PostScript  PDF
    This essay was awarded an FQXI Essay Prize .
    A slimmed down version subsequently appeared in Scientific American.
    Scientific American also recorded an audio commentary.
  • Don's Diary   PDF 
    A short essay for the Cambridge alumni magazine describing how much fun we all have during examinations.
  • Geometry Through the Eyes of Physics   PDF 
    A description of quantum mechanics and geometry for Eureka, the magazine of the Cambridge University Mathematical Society.

Popular Presentations

Here's a few sample presentations, aimed at audiences ranging from general to high school to undergraduate. More technical talks can be found on this page.

  • General Relativity (and the rise of nationalism)   PDF  (6.4 Mb)
        An audio recording of the talk can be found here.
  • Physics and the Integers (annotated)   PDF  (1.3 Mb)
  • The Higgs and the Cosmological Constant   PDF  (14 Mb)
  • From Quarks to Quantum Gravity PDF  (2 Mb)