Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Do you organise talks?

Register to tell us about them. The Lecture List is a great place to be listed, but it's also an easy place to upload your information to. It's very simple and costs nothing. Find out more

Help!

Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

To infinty and beyond

Why is infinity at the heart of science and why are we fascinated by it?


Infinity is one of the most important as well as one of the most mystical concepts in science. But why is infinity at the heart of science and why are we fascinated by it? In this event, three speakers will take us on a journey through the mathematical, astronomical and philosophical perspectives of infinity.

Mathematical

Prof Timothy Gowers will examine how it is misleading to talk of infinity as though it were a single concept, with the word ‘infinity' having several genuinely distinct uses in mathematics, each of which represents the end of a long intellectual struggle. Prof Gowers will then attempt to explain what some of these distinct types are and what their significance is in contemporary mathematics.

Philosophical

Prof Adrian Moore will explore Aristotle's distinction between the actual infinite and the potential infinite, and Aristotle's way of using it to solve various paradoxes of the infinite. Aristotle's own view was that only the potential infinite made sense. For over two thousand years this view was the orthodoxy. The received wisdom nowadays is that recent advances in mathematics have overturned it. Prof Moore will propose that, on the contrary, they have served to corroborate it.

Astronomical

Prof Tim O'Brien will discuss how infinity arises in astrophysics in several situations: inside black holes, at the moment of the Big Bang and in the geometry of the Universe itself. Prof O' Brien will describe how modern cosmology has a chance of answering this most fundamental of questions, does space go on forever?


Speaker(s):

Prof Adrian Moore | talks | www
Dr Timothy Gowers | talks | www
Dr Tim O'Brien | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

26 May 2009 at 7:00 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

The Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street
London
W1S 4BS
020 7409 2992
http://www.rigb.org/

More at The Royal Institution...

 

Tickets:

Tickets cost £8, £6 concessions, £4 Ri members

Available from:

For more information visit www.rigb.org or call the Events Team on 020 7409 2992 9.00am-5.00pm Monday to Friday

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.

Comments

If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.



 

Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund