The early 1960s, when I started my graduate studies at UC Berkeley, were a period of experimental supremacy and theoretical impotence.

In the lab, we could not see or physically describe the mathematical objects that we called quarks, which we suspected were the key to unlocking the dynamics of the strong force that binds together the clump of protons and neutrons at the center of the atom.

I strongly believe that the fundamental laws of nature are not emergent phenomena.

I had set out to disprove quantum field theory - and the opposite occurred! I was shocked.

When I was at Berkeley, the framework of quantum field theory could calculate the dynamics of electromagnetism. It could roughly describe the motion of the weak nuclear force, radiation. But it hit a brick wall with the strong interaction, the binding force.

From the age of 13, I was attracted to physics and mathematics. My interest in these subjects derived mostly from popular science books that I read avidly.