Eric Bergshoeff (1955) occupies the Willem de Sitter Chair in Theoretical Physics at the University of Groningen. He is one of the inventors of the so-called supermembrane, an extension of string theory, that has the promise of solving the clash between gravity and quantum mechanics. He occupied postdoctoral positions in Boston (USA), Trieste (Italy) and CERN (Switzerland) and works since 1991 at the University of Groningen. He was appointed as an ‘Akademiehoogleraar’ by the KNAW in 2010.
In his presentation ‘Gravity according to Einstein’ he will show how gravity works according to Einstein. Einstein’s description of gravity already exists for more than a century and is still unchallenged. However, there are indications that the theory needs modifications if we try to describe gravity at very small or large distance scales. This brings us to issues such as gravitational waves, black holes, dark matter and string theory.