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Fellows Directory

Peter Goddard

Credit: Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA

Professor Peter Goddard CBE FRS


Elected: 1989


Peter Goddard is a mathematical physicist whose research concerns quantum field theory and string theory. With his collaborators, he has made pioneering contributions to these areas including: the ‘no-ghost’ theorem of string theory; the quantum mechanics of the relativistic string; electric–magnetic duality in gauge theories; the construction of conformal field theories; and the realisation of gauge symmetry in string theory.

His work, with Charles Thorn and others on the ‘no-ghost’ theorem and the quantum theory of the string made clear the need for extra spatial dimensions in string theory.

Peter served as Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2004–2012), before which he was Master of St John’s College and Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. Here, he played a leading role in establishing the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, which facilitates collaboration between leading international mathematical scientists, and the University of Cambridge Centre for Mathematical Sciences. Peter received the Dirac Medal of the ICTP in 1997 and became a CBE in 2002 for services to theoretical physics.

Professional positions

Chair, Scientific Policy Committee, ICTP South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-SAIFR)
Member, Board of Directors, Israel Institute for Advanced Studies
Fellow, St John's College, University of Cambridge

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


conformal field theory, Elementary particles, infinite-dimensional Lie algebras, Quantum field theory, String theory