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Written in the stars TV and radio science presenter Professor Jim AlKhalili to discuss the role of determinism in our universe

Do you consider your actions the result of free will, or of a preordained path we are destined to follow? At the Institute of Physics 2018 Prestige Lecture, hosted at our University, physicist and presenter Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE will lead a whistle-stop tour of modern physics and discussion of whether the future is ‘knowable’.

The lecture, entitled “Written in the Stars: how to live happily in a deterministic universe” will be taking place on Tuesday 16 January in the Rattray Lecture Theatre, commencing at 6.30pm.

For this lecture, Professor Al-Khalili will describe how views on the subject of scientific determinism have changed over the centuries- beginning with Newton’s notion of a ‘clockwork universe’, progressing on to Pierre-Simon Laplace’s ‘demon’ articulation of determinism, and Einstein’s block universe of four-dimensional spacetime.

Jim Al-Khalili OBE is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Surrey where he currently teaches and conducts research in quantum physics. He has published over a hundred papers in nuclear reaction physics and quantum biology, and has written a range of books on popular science and the history of science, between them translated into over twenty-five languages.

Dr Darren Wright, from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: “We are very fortunate to have such an outstanding scientist and well-known public speaker as Professor Al-Khalili presenting this year’s Prestige Lecture, and I am particularly pleased that this year the lecture is being held at the University of Leicester. This will be an excellent event for both public and members of the University”.

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