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Professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Since my field is physics, we like to take credit for most every technological innovation, in that it’s hard to imagine a technology that isn’t somehow founded on physics principles. There are many innovations from which to choose, but I can think of none with more impact on society than the World Wide Web, which revolutionised the way we interact with one another and with the body of human knowledge. The web was originally conceived at an elementary particle physics laboratory on the Swiss-France border as an easy means for physicists to exchange data and drafts of scientific publications. Its usefulness quickly became apparent and ushered in a new era of information and communication.