Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 16:55 UK

Stephen Hawking's successor named

Professor Michael Green
Prof Green is a founder of the well-known string theory

Cambridge University has named the man who will succeed Professor Stephen Hawking in one of the world's most prestigious academic positions.

The celebrated physicist, who has motor neurone disease, completed his last day as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics on 30 September.

The university said Professor Michael Green had been elected as the 18th person to take up the position.

Professor Green will start work in his new role on 1 November.

The academic already holds the John Humphrey Plummer Professorship of Theoretical Physics at the university.

'Internationally known'

He is a pioneer of string theory, the idea that the fundamental building blocks of space and time are tiny vibrating strings.

Peter Haynes, head of the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics, said: "Michael Green has played a leading role in theoretical physics research in the department since 1993.

"He is internationally known as a pioneer in string theory which over the last 20 years has become one of the most important and active areas of theoretical physics."

Professor Hawking has taken on a new role as director of research.

The Lucasian Professorship was established in 1663 and previous holders have included Isaac Newton.

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