Throughout history, science has progressed by setting out to find answers to the most puzzling of questions: Is the Universe infinite? Do we have free will? Is it possible to travel back in time? In considering these puzzles the scientist is frequently confronted by a paradox – a statement that describes a logically impossible situation, so exploring and resolving perceived paradoxes is a way of deepening our scientific understanding. In this lecture Jim Al-Khalili selects some of his favourite scientific paradoxes that will baffle, delight and enlighten, from Schrödinger's famous cat in the box that is dead and alive at the same time to Olbers' paradox about why the sky gets dark at night.
This free event is open to the public and is particularly suitable for 2nd level school students.
Jim Al-Khalili OBE is a professor of physics, author and broadcaster based at the University of Surrey where he also holds a chair in the Public Engagement in Science. He is active as a science communicator and has written a number of popular science books, between them translated into over twenty languages. He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries, including the Bafta nominated Chemistry: A Volatile History, and presents the weekly Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific. He is a recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal and the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and is current president of the British Humanist Association.