7pm - 8pm
Tuesday 3 September 2019

The day without a yesterday public lecture

Marcus Chown, an award-winning writer and broadcaster, will be speaking about the big bang.


Lecture Theatre D
Lecture Theatre Block
University of Surrey
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  • Marcus Chown


The greatest discovery in the history of science is that there was a day without a yesterday. The Universe has not existed forever, it was born 13.82 billion years ago, by erupting into being in a titanic fireball called the big bang.

Marcus Chown explains how the man who first guessed that the Universe had arisen in a hot big bang believed (incorrectly) that it was the furnace which had forged the atoms in our bodies, and therefore got the right answer for the wrong reason! Marcus also discusses the outstanding questions such as: What was the big bang? What drove the big bang? And what happened before the big bang? The latter is the stickiest question of all, and why most scientists had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the idea of the big bang.


Formerly a radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Marcus Chowns books include:

  • The Ascent of Gravity, which was The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year in 2017
  • What A Wonderful World – Life, the Universe and Everything in a Nutshell
  • Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You
  • Felicity Frobisher and the Three-Headed Aldebaran Dust Devil

His books, We Need to Talk to Kelvin and Afterglow of Creation, were both runners-up for the Royal Society Book Prize. Marcus also tried his hand at apps and won The Bookseller Digital Innovation of the Year for Solar System for iPad.

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