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Cosmological Serendipity

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Abstract

Serendipity influences the development of science at every level, even when it comes to the biggest question of all – how and when was our universe created? The Big Bang model of the universe is one of the triumphs of modern science, but its development relied on numerous accidental discoveries. Simon Singh will describe the history of the Big Bang model and tell the stories of the brilliant astronomers who used a combination of genius and luck to instigate one the biggest evolutions in twentieth century science. This lecture will include references to Led Zeppelin and electrocuted gherkins.

Biography

After completing his PhD in particle physics at Cambridge University, Simon Singh became a science journalist. For seven years he was a producer and director in the BBC TV Science Department, working on programmes such as Tomorrow’s World and Horizon. In 1997 he won a BAFTA for his documentary about Fermat’s Last Theorem. He then went on to present programmes (The Science of Secrecy, Five Numbers, The Serendipity of Science, Mind Games) on radio and television. Today he is best known as the author of three popular science books, namely “Fermat’s Last Theorem”, “The Code Book”, and “Big Bang”.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Lecture Series series.

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