New Scientist presents ...
Instant Expert: The quantum world
Saturday 28 October, 10am - 5pm | Cavendish Conference Centre, 22 Duchess Mews, London, W1G 9DT
Book your ticket today to get the early booking discount.
Does anyone understand quantum theory? The legendary Richard Feynman suggested that if you think you do, you haven’t understood it at all. But quantum theory is our best description of the microscopic world of atoms and their constituents. It has given us lasers, computers and nuclear reactors, and even tells us how the sun shines and why the ground beneath our feet is solid.
So why is the quantum world so strange? How can a theory that predicts the world so accurately be completely counter to our intuitions?
The quantum world it is a place where objects can be in two places at once, influence each other at opposite sides of the cosmos and nothing is as it seems until you measure it.
But by understanding this weirdness, scientists have harnessed quantum’s power through exciting new technologies: the ability to communicate with absolute security, computers more powerful than anything built before and even quantum teleportation.
At this Instant Expert you’ll discover how a crisis in physics led to the development of such a counterintuitive theory. You’ll see how our knowledge of matter at a fundamental level has led to the development of quantum materials. You’ll see how an offshoot, Quantum Field Theory, is considered to be our current best theory of the universe and you can find out how quantum theory is revolutionising our understanding of biology. Later, you’ll learn about the development of quantum computers – a revolutionary new way of computing that promises to solve problems impossible with today’s technology.
At this Instant Expert, you’ll learn:
- The origins of quantum theory
- Its implications, which experts still argue about today
- The maths of quantum mechanics
- How quantum theory is used in real life technologies
- The rise of quantum computing
- Quantum’s relevance to other areas of science from biology to engineering
Talks and speakers:
The Origins of Quantum Mechanics
James Millen, Reader in Advanced Photonics, King's College London
The seemingly simple experiment of heating a black body and observing how it emits heat led to a crisis in physics at the end of the 19th Century. To fix the equations to match the experiment, Max Planck introduced the theory of ‘quanta’ – that radiation consists of quanta with specific energies determined by a new fundamental constant. Join James Millen as he reveals how this insight laid the groundwork for the whole of modern physics.
Quantum Field Theory: Our Modern Understanding of Matter and Forces
Toby Wiseman, Professor of Theoretical Physics, Imperial College London
Quantum Field Theory (QFT) is our modern paradigm for describing matter and its interactions at a fundamental level. It came about in the 1920’s to describe the electron and photon, culminating in the remarkable theory of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), which also predicted the antimatter positron. We’ll talk about what a field is, and what happens when it is made quantum mechanical. We will discuss how forces between particles arise, and our best modern understanding of matter, The Standard Model. Towards the end of the talk we’ll touch on some more modern developments, such as ‘renormalization’ and 'effective field theory’. The talk will be pitched at people who know nothing at all about QFT or any of the above!
Andrew Boothroyd, Professor of Physics, University of Oxford
Quantum materials are a class of materials that exhibit extraordinary and often unexpected properties due to the influence of quantum mechanics on their behaviour. These materials typically involve phenomena that emerge from the collective behaviour of electrons, such as strong correlations, electron-electron interactions, and quantum coherence. Join Prof Andrew Boothroyd, as he reveals some of the amazing properties and applications of quantum materials.
Life on the Edge: Why Biology Need Quantum Mechanics
Johnjoe McFadden, Professor of Molecular Genetics, University of Surrey
Quantum mechanics was thought to be only relevant to the smallest objects, electrons, protons, photons, atoms and molecules but not big stuff like cannonballs, planes, trains but not animals. But recent research has uncovered quantum mechanisms in living stuff, such as enzymes, bird navigation, plant and microbial photosynthesis as well as medically significant stuff like inflammation, drug action and maybe even cancer or consciousness. In this talk, we will explore why life is important to big living stuff but not big dead stuff. Quantum mechanics may even be the key to life.
From Labs to Market: Demystifying Quantum
Ilana Wisby, CEO, Oxford Quantum Circuits
What is Quantum computing and how does it actually work? Join Dr Ilana Wisby, CEO of OQC, as she dives into the extraordinary realm of quantum computing and shows you how these once theoretical machines are being used by businesses today to solve real-world problems.
Emily Qureshi-Hurst, Philosopher, University of Oxford
When quantum theory was developed, its interpretations raised many profound questions for philosophers, including how to understand the most fundamental levels of reality. There are several interpretations of Quantum Physics vying for supremacy, but one that has risen in prominence in recent years is the Everett (or Many Worlds) interpretation. Many Worlds raises deep philosophical questions about the nature of reality, the existence of parallel universes, and the place of the human in a quantum world. Join Emily Qureshi-Hurst as she explores the mind-bending philosophy of the quantum multiverse.
Who should attend?
Anyone interested in the quantum physics, whatever your age or background. Whether you're a scientist, a student or simply a fascinated human being, Instant Expert: The quantum world offers the chance to learn directly from the experts at our one-day masterclass.
Benefits of attending:
- Become an expert in one day
- Informal set-up, meet like minded people
- Open your mind, be inspired
- Unique chance to ask your burning questions to our experts
What's included in your ticket:
- In-depth and engaging talks from six leading scientists
- Ask-an-expert Question Time session
- Your chance to meet our six speakers and New Scientist host
- Buffet lunch, plus morning and afternoon refreshments
- Exclusive Instant Expert certificate
- Exclusive on-the-day New Scientist subscription deal, book and merchandise offers
The event will be held at the Cavendish Conference Centre, 22 Duchess Mews, London W1G 9DT.
Doors will open at 9:15am, with talks commencing at 10am sharp. The event will finish at 5pm.
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The ticket price includes a buffet lunch, as well as morning and afternoon refreshments.
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A limited number of discounted early bird tickets priced at £129 have been made available, saving £20 on the full ticket price of £149. Tickets can be purchased by following the orange "Book Tickets" button at the top of this page, if still available.