As a young boy and teenager, in a secondary modern school in Huyton near Liverpool, I had an intense interest in understanding the world. How did everything begin? What was everything made of? And there was the peculiar and fascinating nature of numbers which potentially seemed to mirror the real world.
These questions developed into a passion for science – especially physics, mathematics, cosmology and astronomy. School teaching did not address my main interests, and I was primarily stimulated by popular books by Fred Hoyle and George Gamow from the library, and by a wonderful TV programme by Hermann Bondi. I was also interested in broader philosophical and historical matters, which only partly impacted upon science, and read authors such as Arthur Koestler and Bertrand Russell.
I was very lucky that there was a reasonable flow between educational institutions, and I was able to go to the sixth form of King Edwards school to study A-levels in physics, maths and chemistry, and hence to Durham University. Throughout this period and beyond, I continued to pursue an interest in the broader historical and philosophical issues.
Patrick Walters is coauthor of The New Quantum Universe (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and Einstein’s Mirror (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)).