Andrew Pontzen: What is a simulation – and do we live in one?

04 July 2023 18:40 - 19:00 The Royal Society Free
A computer model shows one scenario for how light is spread through the early universe on vast scales (more than 50 million light years across) (Credit: Andrew Pontzen/Fabio Governato)

This event is part of the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition 2023.

Professor Andrew Pontzen introduces how computer simulations have revolutionised our understanding of the universe, delivering astounding insights into the origin of galaxies, stars, black holes, planets and life. Drawing on themes in his non-specialist book The Universe in a Box, published in June to critical acclaim, he looks at the way that simulations are blurring traditional distinctions between theory and experiment, and allowing humanity to collaborate on a new digital canvas to sketch our cosmic past, present and future. And finally, he addresses the controversial idea that reality may itself be a simulation conducted by some far-advanced super-civilization. 

Attending the event

This talk will be held in the Kohn Centre on Tuesday 4 July 2023, 6.40pm — 7pm.

  • Free to attend
  • In person only
  • No registration required
  • Suitable for 18+
  • Travel and accessibility information - contact us directly to arrange any specific accessibility requirements
  • Food and drink will be available for purchase at our onsite café

For all enquiries, please email us.