Appearing Sunday Only
Dr. Spyridon (Spiros) Michalakis is a mathematical physicist at Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM), where he splits his time between research on quantum physics and outreach to the public. He has a B.Sc. in Mathematics with Computer Science from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from UC Davis. As a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Lab, he helped resolve one of 13 “Millennium” problems in mathematical physics, the mystery behind the Quantum Hall Effect. Dr. Michalakis’ current research focuses on the hidden mechanisms underlying the emergence of space, time and the laws of physics.
Spyridon’s advice has been sought after by major Hollywood studios whose movies delve into the mysteries of the quantum realm. Indeed, Spyridon introduced the concept of the “quantum realm” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe during his consult on the superhero movie, “Ant-Man”. He has consulted on several Marvel movies since then. In 2016, Spyridon produced a short video pitting Stephen Hawking against Paul Rudd in a game of Quantum Chess narrated by Keanu Reeves. The video became a global hit, leading to a sequel with Hollywood celebrities Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg and John Cho.