Physics informs our understanding of how the world works – but more than that, key breakthroughs in physics – from thermodynamics to the internet – have transformed everyday life. I will be taking the audience back to ten separate days in history to illustrate how particular breakthroughs were achieved, meet the individuals responsible, and explain how each breakthrough has influenced our lives.
It is a unique selection. Focusing on practical impact means there is no room for Stephen Hawking’s work on black holes, or the discovery of the Higgs boson. Instead we have the relatively little-known Rudolf Clausius (thermodynamics) and Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (superconductivity), while Albert Einstein is included not for his theories of relativity but for the short paper that gave us E=mc2. Later chapters feature transistors, LEDs and the Internet.