The Museum frequently hosts lectures, usually as a series, in which experts in the field of the history of science and scientific instruments share their insights. For forthcoming lectures please see below.
Prime numbers have intrigued, inspired and infuriated mathematicians for millennia and yet mathematicians' difficulty with answering simple questions about them reveals their depth and subtlety.
In this talk, which shares its title with her recent book, Vicky will describe recent progress towards proving the famous Twin Primes Conjecture and the very different ways in which these breakthroughs have been made - a solo mathematician working in isolation, a young mathematician displaying creativity at the start of a career, and a large collaboration that reveals much about how mathematicians go about their work.
Vicky Neale is the Whitehead Lecturer at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford and a Supernumerary Fellow at Balliol College. Her job is to be enthusiastic about mathematics with undergraduates, school students, and the wider public. Her first book "Closing the Gap: the quest to understand prime numbers" was published in October 2017.
Many of the presentations are available as podcasts, some accompanied by slides and photographs – as for the following series on astronomy and telescopes.
Four eminent astronomers share stories behind some of the major instrumental developments of the modern era. The lectures, available here as podcasts, touch on the practical, technical, financial and organisational challenges facing telescope builders.
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