Dark matter and dinosaurs: The astounding interconnectedness of the Universe

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Monday 11 January

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Sculptures in Galleta Meadows Estates in Borrego Springs, California

    Credit: slworking2 via Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/slworkin


Standard £14

Concession £10

Discounts for Ri Members

Event description

66 million years ago, a ten-mile-wide object from outer space hurtled into the Earth at incredible speed and destroyed the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. Where did it come from, and why? And how is this connected to dark matter – the most mysterious, elusive stuff in the Universe, that interacts with gravity like ordinary matter but doesn’t emit or absorb light?

Astronomers know it’s there but it is literally invisible. Lisa Randall will tell the story of Big Bang theory, cosmological inflation, the makeup of the universe and our solar system’s place in it; she’ll explore mass extinctions through the ages, what we know has hit the Earth and what might hit us in the future. And the radical idea that dark matter might ultimately have been responsible for the dinosaurs’ extinction.


Lisa Randall is an American theoretical physicist and leading expert on particle physics and cosmology. She is Professor of Science in the physics faculty of Harvard University focussing on elementary particles and fundamental forces. Her most recent work has involved the theory of extra dimensions of space.

She has also written popular science books, including Warped Passages and Higgs Discovery and has been featured in Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People."

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