News from the world of maths: Debate the big questions of the universe

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Debate the big questions of the universe

The response to our International Year of Astronomy project seven things everyone wants to know about the universe has shown that Plus readers are keeping up with the frontiers of theoretical physics. Now you have a chance to debate the Big Questions in person, as the Astrophysics Group at the Physics Department of Imperial College London present a new series of debates on topical themes in modern astrophysics and cosmology.

In each debate a member of the Astrophysics Group will discuss one of the big questions raised by cutting-edge research with a guest, be it the origin of the Universe or the existence of black holes. The series will be accessible to everybody and is aimed at the general public, who will have the opportunity to ask questions in what will be a lively and interactive discussion.

The first topic up for debate is "the Origin of the Universe" at 6-8pm on Thursday 18 June at Imperial College, London. Prof. Michael Rowan-Robinson and Rev. Dr John Polkinghorne, will tackle the fascinating question of what the Big Bang means from both a scientific and a theological perspective. The next event will take place in mid-July and will discuss the existence of the mysterious dark energy.

Attendance is free but registration is essential, you can find out more at the Big questions site.

And for those of you holding out for the answer to our latest question 'Are the constants of nature really constant?', we have just recorded John Barrow's answer to this question, which ranged from how to standardize the widths or wires to alternate universes. We'll publish his answer in a podcast and article next week, as well as launch the next poll for you to choose the third thing everyone wants to know about the universe. Stay tuned....

posted by Plus @ 4:18 PM


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