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Instant Expert

Be immersed in the groundbreaking discoveries that are transforming our understanding of the universe

鶹Ƶ. Science news and long reads from expert journalists, covering developments in science, technology, health and the environment on the website and the magazine.
Event
Be immersed in the groundbreaking discoveries that are transforming our understanding of the universe
15 June 2024
10:00am - 5:00pm
Venue
Conway Hall, London

鶹Ƶ presents ...

Instant Expert – Decoding the Cosmos: The latest discoveries reshaping our universe

Saturday 15 June, 10am - 5pm | Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL

From the earliest humans, to today, we have always looked at the night sky with a sense of awe. Today, using some of the most advanced technology, from giant space telescopes to particle accelerators buried deep underground, scientists are revealing more than ever about the universe we call home. Join a renowned line-up of researchers as they unveil the most recent discoveries that are reshaping our understanding of the universe. From the nature of dark matter to the search for life on other planets, you'll explore the frontiers of knowledge and uncover the mind-blowing secrets held within the vast expanse of space.

NEW EVENT FORMAT FOR 2024

We are always seeking ways to make our events more inclusive and to find new ways to deliver value to you. For 2024 we have reduced the ticket prices and introduced a new ticket option “super early bird” for our Instant Expert events. All our Instant Expert events will be held at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London. An Instant Expert ticket will no longer included refreshments or lunch, but the agenda includes a lunch break and there are many great eateries close to Conway Hall to choose from. But what doesn’t change is that each event will continue to feature six expert speakers sharing their knowledge and latest research on the event topic. We hope you like the changes we have made to the event format for 2024, and as always we welcome your feedback.

At this Instant Expert, you’ll:

  • Discover the latest groundbreaking discoveries in cosmology.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the universe's mysteries.
  • Meet and learn from leading researchers at the forefront of the field.
  • Ask questions and engage in discussions about the future of cosmic exploration.

Talks and speakers:

Cosmic inflation and the initial conditions for the hot big bang

David Mulryne, Royal Society University Research Fellow, Queen Mary University of London

Observing the universe around us today and winding the clock back, we find that our universe expanded away from an incredibly hot dense state. But how the initial conditions for this “hot big bang” arose is still open to debate. The leading explanation is cosmic inflation — a period of accelerating expansion that set the stage for our universe and all the structure it contains. Yet it still leaves many questions unanswered, and there are alternatives. In this talk, I’ll discuss inflation, the evidence for it, and touch on some of the unanswered questions in the field of very early universe cosmology.

The Dark Sector: Observational Evidence for Dark Energy

Kathy Romer, Professor of Astrophysics, University of Sussex

It might seem as though the terms dark matter and dark energy was just made up by scientists because they were trying to cover for the fact that they were feeling clueless about explaining certain observations. It seems like that because, pretty much, that is exactly what happened. That said, there are plenty of pieces of evidence (and more being accumulated all the time) to support the concept that they (dark matter and dark energy) do exist and many (many) theories that hope to explain their origins. This talk will describe the evidence (for and against), highlight some of the prevailing theories, and make a prediction of when science will finally throw light on the dark sector.

A journey through the Universe surfing the waves of space-time

Alberto Vecchio, Professor of Astrophysics, University of Birmingham

A new era of explorations of the cosmos and of some of its most violent phenomena has just begun with the observation of gravitational waves. We have discovered binary black holes, which we now know are abundant in our Universe. We have observed for the first time the collision of a pair of neutron stars that has set in motion a sequence of remarkable events tracked by astronomers across the electro-magnetic spectrum. We may have just picked up the feeble whisper of the cosmic population of binaries of super-massive black holes at the centre of galaxies. This is the beginning of a journey that will surely bring many surprises. One day, it may even give us direct view of the very infant universe as it emerged from the Big Bang.

Neutrinos and the Mystery of the Missing Antimatter

Susan Cartwright, Senior Lecturer in Particle Physics and Astrophysics, University of Sheffield

Our Universe is made of matter, yet when we create particles in accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider we always make them as particle-antiparticle pairs. So, what happened to the antimatter? From the fact that photons vastly outnumber protons and electrons in the Universe, we know that most of it annihilated with matter - but why was there some matter left over, but no antimatter? One of the keys to answering this question is to find particle interactions in which particles and antiparticles behave differently. There are such interactions among hadrons, the discovery of which won the 1980 Nobel Prize for Cronin and Fitch, but we know these are not enough to do the job. Can neutrino physics solve the mystery of the missing antimatter?

Astrobiology - The Hunt for alien life

Lewis Dartnell, British astrobiologist, presenter, and professor of science communication, University of Westminster

'Astrobiology' is a brand new field of science, encompassing research into the origins and limits of life on our own planet, and where life might exist beyond the Earth. Join Prof. Lewis Dartnell on a tour of the other planets and moons in our solar system which may harbour life, and even further afield to alien worlds orbiting distant stars, to explore one of the greatest questions ever asked: are we alone…?

The Search for Dark Matter

Carolin Crawford, British astronomer

Why do we think dark matter exists? What could it be made of? How could we detect it?

Unlike the stars, gas and galaxies, dark matter does not give off radiation at any wavelength – it is only revealed through its gravitational pull. Although it comprises 85% of the total mass in the Universe, we do not fully understand what it is made of. I shall briefly review the evidence for dark matter before discussing candidates and what experiments are being carried out to resolve its nature. The search for a better understanding of dark matter is carried out both out in space and deep underground, and where astrophysics meets particle physics.

Who should attend?

This masterclass is designed for everyone with a passion for the universe, from curious beginners to astronomy enthusiasts. No prior knowledge is required, just an open mind and a curiosity to learn.

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 鶹Ƶ host
  • Exclusive on-the-day 鶹Ƶ subscription deal, book and merchandise offers

Booking information:

The event will be held at the Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

Doors will open at 9:15am, with talks commencing at 10am sharp. The event will finish at 5pm.

We require the name of each person attending - please ensure this is provided at the time of booking. If you need to change the name of an attendee, please notify us as soon as possible: live@newscientist.com

Eventbrite will email you your ticket(s) immediately after purchase. Please remember to bring your ticket(s) with you as you'll need it to gain entry. We can scan tickets from a print out, or off the screen of a phone / tablet / smartwatch.

The schedule / exact running order for the day will be confirmed closer to the event, and will be emailed to all ticket holders.

Lunch will NOT be provided at this event. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food, or purchase lunch at one of the many establishments around Red Lion Square and the surrounding area.

Should you require details about disabled access, please contact us at: live@newscientist.com

Tickets are non-transferable to any other 鶹Ƶ event.

All tickets are non-refundable.

鶹Ƶ reserves the right to alter the event and its line-up, or cancel the event. In the unlikely event of cancellation, all tickets will be fully refunded. 鶹Ƶ Ltd will not be liable for any additional expenses incurred by ticket holders in relation to the event.

Tickets are subject to availability and are only available in advance through Eventbrite.

Event
Be immersed in the groundbreaking discoveries that are transforming our understanding of the universe
15 June 2024
10:00am - 5:00pm
Venue
Conway Hall, London