Chris Allton

Favourite Thing: Understand a part of science in a way that is so deep that you’re certain you’ve fully grasped it!



St Pauls School and University of Queensland in Brisbane, and then the Australian National University in Canberra.


BSc, PhD

Work History:

Edinburgh and Southampton Universities, University of Rome, Swansea University

Current Job:

Professor of Theoretical Physics, Swansea University


Swansea University

Me and my work

I work out what the universe was like just after the Big Bang using very large computers and my very small brain.

My Typical Day

I try to make some progress researching how the Universe was formed, but am unfortunately often distracted by more important things.

What I'd do with the money

I didn’t know that there was prize money!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

motivated, thoughtful, energetic

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Nick Cave, Lou Reed, First Aid Kit

What's your favourite food?

Anything Italian, or Thai, or French, or Indian, or Malay, or seafood, or carnivorous, or edible

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Swam on the Great Barrier Reef would be close, I guess.

What did you want to be after you left school?

a university student

Were you ever in trouble in at school?


What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Help two profoundly deaf students get University degrees in Physics

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

I was intrigued about astronomy and the idea of trying to understand anything (everything) that was around me.

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A stand-up comedian. Well, OK, seriously? Ummm maybe a doctor, but they are applied scientists really, so I’m honestly not sure!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

This one’s impossible! 1. to be able to sing without people hiding behind their chairs 2. to be able to draw (like an artist!) 3. to be given a hint about how Quantum Mechanics really works

Tell us a joke.

What’s the maritime equivalent of a self-obsessed train-spotter? A naval gazer. [Well, ok, at least I made it up all by myself!]

Other stuff

Work photos: