The fire of life

6.00pm to 7.15pm, Friday 7 July

The Theatre

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

This event has already taken place

  • Freezing breath inside a balloon.

    Credit: Ruben Meerman


Standard £14


Concession £10


Members and Patrons £7

Event description

People are warmer on the inside than their surroundings, so how does the human body generate its own heat? Join Ruben Meerman in exploring this exciting topic, using liquid nitrogen, explosions, a thermal camera and more. You’ll find out what temperature really means, see heat appear out of nowhere and learn how ‘The Fire of Life’ keeps your body warm. 

This talk is particularly suitable for ages 7+.

About the speaker

Ruben Meerman is known as the ‘surfing scientist’ to a generation of Australian children. Before his career in the media and science communication took off, Ruben worked as a physicist in the laser industry. He has taught science education for pre-service primary school teachers, published hundreds of teaching resources and four children’s science books. Ruben’s career took an unexpected turn to the biochemistry of weight loss in 2013, after he lost a few kilograms of his own. By tracing the path of the atoms stored in human fat out of the body, Ruben showed that people exhale nearly all of the mass they lose during weight loss. His research was published in the British Medical Journal in 2014. His new life mission is to make sure all children learn how their bodies work on the cellular, molecular and atomic level.

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