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The Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences is delighted to present the Annual Higgs Lecture. The inaugural Annual Higgs Lecture was delivered in December 2012 by its name bearer, Professor Peter Higgs, who returned to King's after graduating in 1950 with a first-class honours degree in Physics, and who famously predicted the Higgs Boson particle. This year Professor Sir Michael Berry from the University of Bristol will deliver the Higgs Lecture on ‘Chasing the dragon: tidal bores in the UK and elsewhere.’

Sir Michael Berry is a theoretical physicist at the University of Bristol, where he has been for nearly twice as long as he has not. His research centres on the relations between physical theories at different levels of description (classical and quantum physics, ray optics and wave optics), and associated mathematics, especially geometry. He delights in finding familiar phenomena illustrating deep concepts: the arcane in the mundane.


• 17.45 - Registration and refreshments
• 18.00 - Welcome
• 18.10 - Chasing the dragon: tidal bores in the UK and elsewhere by Professor Sir Michael Berry

In some of the world’s rivers, an incoming high tide can arrive as a smooth jump decorated by undulations, or as a breaking wave. The river reverses direction and flows upstream. Understanding tidal bores involves
• analogies with tsunamis, rainbows, horizons in relativity, and ideas from quantum physics;
• the concept of a ‘minimal model’ in mathematical explanation;
• different ways in which different cultures describe the same thing;
• the first unification in fundamental physics

• 19.00 - Drinks reception

Event details

Great Hall
Strand Campus
Strand, London, WC2R 2LS