Black holes and the fundamental laws of physics (Discourse)

7.20pm to 8.45pm, Friday 29 September

The Theatre

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Nasa

Price

Standard £20

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Concession £15

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Free for Members and Patrons

Event description

Black holes are amongst the most extraordinary objects that are known to exist in the universe. Jerome Gauntlett will discuss their fascinating properties and describe the dramatic recent observations of black holes using gravitational waves. He will also explain why it is believed that black holes hold the key to unlocking the next level of our understanding of the fundamental laws of physics.

About the speaker

Jerome Gauntlett is a professor of theoretical physics at Imperial College. His principal research interests are focussed on string theory, quantum field theory and black holes. Most recently he has been investigating whether string theory techniques can be used to study exotic states of matter that arise in condensed matter physics. He was Head of the Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial from 2011-2016.

He was the theoretical physics consultant for the film The Theory of Everything and he has an Erdos-Bacon number of six (having written a paper with Shing-Tung Yau and appeared in the film Windrider with Nicole Kidman).

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.

Dress code

The dress code for this event is smart (ties optional, no jeans or trainers). Please note, if you are not dressed smartly you may be asked to sit in the gallery.

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. The doors to the Theatre will open at approximately 6.45pm.

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.

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