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A tale of two infinities

Gianfranco Bertone explains the new science of 'multimessenger astronomy' which will help us uncover the Universe's greatest mysteries

An artist's impression of gravitational waves generated by binary neutron stars.
R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL

Event description

The spectacular advances of modern astronomy have opened our horizon on an unexpected cosmos: a dark, mysterious universe, populated by enigmatic entities we know very little about, like black holes, or nothing at all, like dark matter and dark energy.Join Gianfranco Bertone as he discusses 'multimessenger astronomy', combining the traditional approach based on the observation of light from celestial objects, with a new method based on other 'messengers' – such as gravitational waves, neutrinos, and cosmic rays – that carry information from otherwise inaccessible corners of the universe.

Copies of Gianfranco's book 'A tale of two infinities' are available from amazon 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.

Tickets to attend in person or to watch the livestream are both available from this page.

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.

At the moment we are asking event attendees to continue following steps to make the Ri Covid-secure, such as wearing a face covering.


These online events are free for everyone to access. 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

Gianfranco Bertone is Professor of Theoretical Astroparticle Physics at the Center of Excellence in Gravitation and Astroparticle Physics of the U. of Amsterdam, GRAPPA (Gravitation, AstroParticle Physics Amsterdam), where he leads a research team investigating topics at the interface between particle physics and cosmology. 

Since June 2019, he is the founding director of the European Consortium for Astroparticle Physics (EuCAPT).

Beside scientific research and teaching, Gianfranco is active in science outreach, and involved in various initiatives to advocate the importance of scientific culture.


The live stream will go live at 6.55pm, and the introduction 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.

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 proceeds help support the charitable work of the Ri. Affiliate disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate The Royal Institution earns from qualifying purchases.

18 and 19 August holiday workshops cancelled

Due to planned transport strikes, all holiday workshops on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August are cancelled.