The recipe for our Universe

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday 10 August

Theatre / Online

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

This event has already taken place

  • Harry's debut book cover

    Credit: Pan Macmillan


Theatre audience: pay-what-you-can for Ri Members and Patrons / Livestream audience: pay what you can

Event description

What is matter really made of? How does the stuff around us escape annihilation in the fearsome heat of the Big Bang? And will we ever be able to understand the very first moments of our universe?

Using the latest experimental data from the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva and labs and observatories around the world, including a neutrino detector buried a kilometre under an Italian mountain to a gravitational wave detector nestled in the humid pine forest of Louisiana, particle physicist Harry Cliff will reveal what the newest findings tell us about the the fundamental ingredients of matter and their origins.

Harry's latest book, How to make an apple pie from scratch, is available from Pan Macmillan (UK), Amazon (international) and all good bookshops.

Event type

This is a theatre event, where the speaker and audience in our theatre are joined by an online audience. For our trial events in August, booking tickets for adult events in our theatre is limited to Ri Members and Patrons. 

Ri Members and Patrons should check their email newsletter for details on how to book. If you have any queries, please contact

Please note that we are following Government and Public Health England advice, as we have been throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to review our approach as that guidance changes. 

However, at the moment we are limiting audience numbers in our theatre to maintain a social distance, and asking event attendees to continue following steps to make the Ri Covid-secure

Book livestream tickets


These events are free for everyone to access online. However, donations are an extremely important source of support for us and we would be most grateful if you are able to contribute. We are a small, independent charity and receive no government funding. Our income from ticket sales and venue hire has been significantly reduced and will continue to fall. Donations, alongside our membership subscriptions are vital to our development and survival.

Please donate via our JustGiving page. Every donation we receive makes a difference. Thank you for your support.

About the speaker

Harry Cliff is a particle physicist at the University of Cambridge working on the LHCb experiment, a huge particle detector buried 100 metres underground at CERN near Geneva. He is a member of an international team of around 1400 physicists, engineers and computer scientists who are using LHCb to study the basic building blocks of our universe, in search of answers to some of the biggest questions in modern physics.


Doors to the theatre will open for our in-person audience at 6.30pm and the livestream will go live at 6.55pm. The event will begin at 7.00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.

For those attending in-person, please arrive in good time as there may be a wait to be seated according to social distancing rules.

The Royal Institution is part of the Amazon Affiliate Programme and book links on this page are affiliate links, which means it won't cost you any extra but we may earn a small commission if you decide to purchase through the link. All procceeds help support the charitable work of the Ri. Affiliate disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate The Royal Institution earns from qualifying purchases.

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