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Get to grips with quantum theory and uncover the frontiers of quantum technology

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Get to grips with quantum theory and uncover the frontiers of quantum technology
28 October 2023
10:00am - 5:00pm

New Scientist presents ...

Instant Expert: The quantum world

Saturday 28 October, 10am - 5pm | Cavendish Conference Centre, 22 Duchess Mews, London, W1G 9DT

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, Senior Lecturer, 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

Toby Wiseman, Professor of Theoretical Physics, Imperial College London

According to our best theories of physics, the fundamental building blocks of matter are not particles, but continuous fluid-like substances known as 'quantum fields'. Toby Wiseman will explain what we know about these fields, and how they fit into our understanding of the Universe.

Quantum Materials

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.

Quantum Biology

Johnjoe McFadden, Professor of Molecular Genetics, University of Surrey

Quantum biology seeks to understand whether quantum mechanics plays a role in biological processes. Recent research has already shown phenomena such as photosynthesis, respiration, bird navigation and even the way we think are all influenced by quantum mechanics. Join Prof Johnjoe McFadden as he reveals the latest research into the increasing role we believe quantum phenomena play in the biology of life.

Quantum Computing

Ilana Wisby, CEO, Oxford Quantum Circuits

Quantum computing is never far from the pages of New Scientist, but how does it actually work? How is it different to conventional computing? What challenges can quantum computers solve that are otherwise impossible? Ilana Wisby will be your guide to computing in the quantum realm and show how these once theoretical machines are being used today to solve real-world problems.

Plus one more exciting talk to be announced soon....

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

Booking information:

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.

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:

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 ticket price includes a buffet lunch, as well as morning and afternoon refreshments.

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

Should you require details about disabled access, please contact us at:

Tickets are non-transferable to any other New Scientist event.

All tickets are non-refundable.

New Scientist 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. New Scientist 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.

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.  

Get to grips with quantum theory and uncover the frontiers of quantum technology
28 October 2023
10:00am - 5:00pm