Andrew Chamblin Memorial Lecture 2018

by Sally March
Dr Andrew Chamblin (1969-2006)

Dr Andrew Chamblin (1969-2006)

The twelfth Andrew Chamblin Memorial Lecture, entitled Observing Black Holes in Quantum Mechanics, will be given by Novel Laureate Professor Gerard ‘t Hooft , at 5 pm on Tuesday 23rd October in room MR2 in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge.

Professor Gerard ‘t Hooft is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, where he is currently researching Quantum Gravity and the role played by black holes there and other aspects of quantum mechanics. In 1999 he was was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize Physics along with Martinus Veltman for their work elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics.

Black holes are extraordinary consequences of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, describing extreme features in the behaviour of matter when too much of it is compressed in too small a volume. Large black holes are known to occur in many places in the universe, but what happens when they get very small? At some point, the laws of quantum mechanics, normally applying to atoms and molecules, should dictate what happens. If you thought black holes are weird, and that quantum mechanics is weird as well, try to imagine what happens when these two are combined.

Several theories for the combination of the gravitational force with the quantum theories of elementary particles, have been constructed and elaborated, notably string theory, decorated with super symmetry. It is generally thought that these theories will automatically handle black holes correctly. But they don’t. Fundamental modifications are needed and these may bring extremely valuable insight in how to proceed with these theories.

Admission is free, but booking is required via Eventbrite.

To learn more about Andrew’s life and work, please visit