The real building blocks of the Universe (Discourse)

7.20pm to 8.45pm, Friday 25 November

The Theatre

This event has already taken place

  • Quantum fields form the basis of the matter in the Universe.

    Credit: David Tong

Price

Standard £18

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Concession £15

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Discounts for Members

Event description

According to our best theories of physics, the fundamental building blocks of matter are not particles, but continuous fluid-like substances known as 'quantum fields'. David Tong will explain what we know about these fields, and how they fit into our understanding of the Universe. He'll cover topics from the Big Bang to the latest developments in particle physics from CERN.

About the speaker

David Tong is a professor of theoretical physics at Cambridge University, specialising in quantum field theory. 

More about Discourses

Discourses are one of the Ri’s oldest and most prestigious series of talks. Since 1825, audiences in the theatre have witnessed countless mind-expanding moments, including the first public liquefaction of air by James Dewar, the announcement of the electron by J.J. Thomson and over 100 lectures by Michael Faraday. In more recent times, we have had Nobel laureates, Fields medal winners, scientists, authors and artists – all from the cutting-edge of their field. Discourses are an opportunity for the best and brightest to share their work with the world.

Steeped in nearly two centuries of tradition, a Discourse is more than just a lecture. To keep the focus on the topic, presenters begin sharply at 7:30pm without introduction and we lock the speaker into a room ten minutes ahead of the start (legend has it that a speaker once tried to escape!) We also ask guests to dress smartly to add to the sense of occasion.

Discourses are free for members - consider joining today.

Find out more about the history of the Friday Evening Discourses on our blog.

Food and Drink

The Atrium cafe will be open before and after the talk. Check out the delicious menu and call 020 7670 2973 or email ri@ri.ac.uk to reserve your table.

There will also be a cash bar on the Mezzanine before the Discourse, where you can relax, meet likeminded people with an interest in science, and have a drink.

Filming

This event will be filmed and on the Ri Channel within a few months. Subscribe for free to hear when new videos are released.

Dress code

The dress code for this event is smart.

Timing note

Please be aware that this Discourse starts at 7.30pm, but all attendees must be seated in the theatre by 7.20pm. This is half an hour earlier than previous Discourses.

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