Physics what we still dont know David Tong

Physics: What We Still Don't Know

David Tong

What’s left to discover at the deepest levels of reality? Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge David Tong gives his personal take on what we still don’t know.

  • David Tong
    David Tong
    Cambridge Professor of Theoretical Physics and winner of the Adam's Prize.

About the Course

From the discovery of the Higgs Boson to the map of the early universe, today's physicists have pushed the boundaries of our knowledge further than we thought possible. But from the elusive energy that drives the universe to the strangely low mass of the Higgs boson, new challenges await. In this course professor David Tong explores the edges of our understanding and the answers that we hope to have in the next few years.

By the end of the course, you will have learned:

  • how dark energy and dark matter stand up to scrutiny
  • why dark energy is so unsettling for physicists
  • the nature of the building blocks of matter
  • what the Higgs does and why it remains mysterious
  • the reasons why inflation is unavoidable
  • the full story behind the gravitational waves headlines of 2014.


As part of the course there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, suggested further readings to stimulate a deeper exploration of the topic, discussion boards to have your say and an end-of-course assessment set by Professor Tong.

IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.

About the Instructor

  • David Tong

    Cambridge Professor of Theoretical Physics and winner of the Adams Prize, his research focuses on how the universe is held together on a fundamental level.

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: Cosmic Mystery
    From dark matter to the cosmological constant, what's missing from our model of the universe?
  • Part Two: Into the Atom
    What has the discovery of the Higgs boson revealed about the ultimate nature of the world?
  • Part Three: Back to the Beginning
    How did it all begin? From the LHC to gravitational waves, Tong explores evidence from the big bang.