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Fellows Directory

Jim Al-Khalili

Jim Al-Khalili

Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS


Elected: 2018





Jim Al-Khalili is a theoretical physicist at the University of Surrey where he holds a Distinguished Chair in physics as well as a university chair in the public engagement in science. He received his PhD in nuclear reaction theory in 1989 and has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in the field. His current interest is in open quantum systems and the application of quantum mechanics in biology. In 2018, he helped establish at Surrey the world’s first doctoral training centre in quantum biology and, in 2020, set up a new Quantum Foundations Centre.

Jim is a prominent author and broadcaster. He has written 14 books, between them translated into twenty-six languages. He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries and for the past nine years has hosted the award-winning weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific

Jim is a past president of British Humanists Association (now Humanists UK) and a past president of the British Science Association. He is a trustee of the Institute of Physics and a member of the judging panel of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. He is a recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal, the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. He received an OBE in 2007 for services to science.

Professional positions

University Distinguished Chair, Professor of Physics and Professor of Public Engagement in Science, Department Of Physics, University of Surrey

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Mathematics
    • Applied mathematics and theoretical physics
  • Astronomy and physics
    • Quantum theory
  • Other
    • History of science, Science policy


Foundations of quantum mechanics, History of Science, Nuclear reaction theory, Public Engagement, Quantum few body problems, Scattering theory, Science Policy


  • Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture

    No citation available for this award.

  • Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture

    He is a sought-after broadcaster on scientific topics in all media. He is renowned for explaining complex ideas in modern physics in an approachable way, always with a strong sense of historical context. His contributions to televised histories of electricity, quantum physics and work in quantum biology are all noteworthy. His work ranges from very recent history of science to the far longer history of Arabic science.

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