Tickets available for Cambridge Science Festival
Is Tech Making Us Miserable?
19:30 on 11 March 2019, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge.
Modern life has provided us with many comforts: we live longer; have ubiquitous access to information and entertainment; and by almost every metric are more ‘prosperous’. So much so that the rest of the world seemingly wants to emulate the ‘prosperous’ Western model. Then why are we so unhappy?
Holographic Projection Displays: Beyond Star Wars
19:30 on 12 March 2019, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge.
The word ‘hologram’ is one of the most mis-used terms in current display technologies. Ever since the iconic scene in the original 1977 Star Wars movie, where Princess Leia is projected in three dimensions from R2D2, the term has been used to describe a multitude of displays that do not contain holograms.
In this talk, Tim Wilkinson, Professor of Photonic Engineering at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Jesus College, introduces the real world of holographic projection displays and demonstrates that many types of image generation are now possible from full parallax three dimensional displays to Augmented Reality. In order to understand how these types of holograms are generated, the talk will also explain how the technology found in most people’s pockets is now almost capable of displaying holographic information.
Quantum Computers: the Ultimate Tools for Discovery
19:30 on 18 March 2019, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge.
We all have seen many reports in the press about quantum computers. These novel machines, which fully harness the "weirdness" of quantum mechanics, are supposed to soon outperform all classical computers and thereby to change the world. They are set to make better predictions for which books or videos you might like, and also to revolutionize the search for new materials and drugs, to cure cancer, and to even solve the problem of traffic jams.
During this talk, Dr Ulrich Schneider will look at the foundations of these claims, starting with the basic principles of their operations - the superposition principle aka quantum weirdness, and then discuss their current status and realistic future prospects for the short and medium term.
Writing the Anthropocene: Megan Hunter in Conversation
19:30 on 19 March 2019, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge.
What would life be like after a climate catastrophe? With climate change a reality too big to be comprehended by graphs and statistics alone, fiction is proving as important a medium as science in the environmental debate. For instance, in the certain event of rising sea-levels, how do we write and imagine humanity's second fall?
Such questions are now part of what some are calling the Anthropocene, the epoch where human beings have become the primary agents of geological change. Novelist and literary critic Megan Hunter will be discussing her recent novel The End We Start From (Picador, 2017), a vision of Britain after climate disaster. This event is organised in collaboration with the Divinity Faculty's MPhil module, Theology in the Anthropocene: Facing the Environmental Future.