Thursday, 17 January 2019 Contact us

WELCOME TO THE QUANTUM WORLD OF GROUPIES… 11.00AM

Sir Roger Penrose - black holes - quantum everything

So Sir Roger Penrose is very highly spoken of…
Not only is he one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists but, according to a woman I met while queueing to get in to the Sheldonian (and I’d estimate she was in her fifties), he’s very charismatic too (I wouldn’t have called her a ‘groupie’ but I’d swear I later saw her touching up her lippy in the front row).
Anyway, suffice to say, I was impressed by her obvious adoration, so looked forward to picking up a few tips. And with a talk whose title included in its first four words ‘Fashion, Faith and Fantasy…’ I saw plenty of opportunity to do so.
Suffice to say it was a packed house for a packed brain; a brain whose size if measured would stretch from outside Debenhams to the farthest known reaches of the universe.
And gratifyingly, the audience was not only made up of ageing groupies but an entire alphabet of of ages and backgrounds, from someone who looked four to someone who could easily have qualified as ‘Father Time’.
As it happens I read a book Sir Roger wrote when I was a teenager all about Black Holes and what I didn’t understand then I still don’t understand now but who cares - it was, and is, fascinatingly beautiful and poetic.
“Quantum” this and ‘Quantum” that were bandied around with gay abandon but I did manage to understand a few of the ‘in-science’ jokes.
A brilliant, brilliant speaker and a perfect way to kick off the festival.
I loved it (thought I still can’t understand “Quantum gravity”).

FT Weekend Title partner University of Oxford BBC World Service International radio partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Worcester College Worcester College: Festival college partner Irish Embassy, London Supporters of the Irish programme Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. Sponsors of the programme of American literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Head of Zeus The Macdonald Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Italian Cultural Institute HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Gibunco Group Sponsor of Gibraltar Lecture British Academy BBC Four Television Broadcast media partner Earthwatch Europe Ian and Carol Sellars Emily Rose and James Marrow Jill Dunsmore New College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College Jesus College St Hilda’s College St John’s College St John's College The Queen’s College The Queen's College Exeter College Exeter College Hertford College Keble College Keble College Oxford Brookes University Said Business School University of Oxford Mathematical Institute Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies The Oxford Times Regional media partner BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design The Royal Society of Literature Royal Literary Fund Princeton University Press Felicity Bryan Associates University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Conference Oxford Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Oxford University Press Floris of London Critchleys City Audio Visual Bayard Presse Eynsham Hall Macdonald Bear Hotel Sloane Club Ashmolean Museum British Humanist Association The Story Museum Oxford City Council The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Liaison Financial Services Steer

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival partners & sponsors

FT Weekend Title partner University of Oxford BBC World Service International radio partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Worcester College Worcester College: Festival college partner Irish Embassy, London Supporters of the Irish programme Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. Sponsors of the programme of American literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Head of Zeus The Macdonald Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Italian Cultural Institute HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Gibunco Group Sponsor of Gibraltar Lecture British Academy BBC Four Television Broadcast media partner Earthwatch Europe Ian and Carol Sellars Emily Rose and James Marrow Jill Dunsmore New College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College Jesus College St Hilda’s College St John’s College St John's College The Queen’s College The Queen's College Exeter College Exeter College Hertford College Keble College Keble College Oxford Brookes University Said Business School University of Oxford Mathematical Institute Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies The Oxford Times Regional media partner BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design The Royal Society of Literature Royal Literary Fund Princeton University Press Felicity Bryan Associates University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Conference Oxford Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Oxford University Press Floris of London Critchleys City Audio Visual Bayard Presse Eynsham Hall Macdonald Bear Hotel Sloane Club Ashmolean Museum British Humanist Association The Story Museum Oxford City Council The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Liaison Financial Services Steer