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Physics Inaugural Lecture: Professors Ruth Gregory and Eugene Lim - 15 November 2023

Please note that this event has passed.

You're warmly invited in-person or online to our inaugural lecture event series with speakers from the Department of Physics, Professor Ruth Gregory and Professor Eugene Lim.

The Inaugural Lecture Series from the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences (NMES) celebrates the journeys and career successes of our professors, to provide insight and inspiration from the faculty's leading scientists.

Ruth and Eugene, both Professors of Physics, will present on the ground-breaking research accomplished through their careers. Afterwards, there will be a chance to raise a glass to their achievements over drinks at our reception.



  • 16:45 - 17:00 Registration opens
  • 17:00 - 17:05 Welcome/opening remarks: Professor Mark French, Interim Executive Dean of the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences
  • 17:05 - 17:30 Black holes and revelations by Professor Ruth Gregory
  • 17:30 - 17:35 Vote of thanks
  • 17:35 - 18:00 Dreaming of the last turtle: How do you start the Universe? by Eugene Lim
  • 18:00 - 18:05 Vote of thanks
  • 18:05 - 18:10 Closing remarks: Professor Mark French, Interim Executive Dean of the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences
  • 18:10 - 19:00 Drinks reception

Black holes and revelations by Professor Ruth Gregory

Black holes are endlessly fascinating, and I have spent most of my life studying them in one form or another. The most fascinating and unique aspect of a black hole is that it is a particularly simple (in a relative sense of course!) mathematical expression. Yet this simplicity truly represents what is out there in nature. In no other branch of Physics does a model correspond so precisely to reality!

In this lecture, I will discuss how the black hole challenges us to understand the quantum aspects of gravity. Additionally, we’ll delve into the strange world of primordial black holes, formed in the early universe, and the potential apocalyptic risk they may pose.

Ruth Gregory 350x350

Speaker bio:

Ruth Gregory earned her PhD from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), Cambridge in 1988, as part of Stephen Hawking’s Relativity research group under the supervision of John Stewart. She then became a Research Associate at Fermilab, and a McCormick Fellow at the Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago between 1988 and 1993, before moving back to the UK on a PPARC Advanced Fellowship, then a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.

In 2005 she was appointed Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Durham. She held this post until her appointment as Head of Department of Physics and Professor of Theoretical Physics at King's College London in 2021. Her fields of specialism are General Relativity and Cosmology.

In 2006, she was awarded the Maxwell Medal by the Institute of Physics (IOP), and in 2011 a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Research Award. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Perimeter Institute, Waterloo Canada.


Dreaming of the last turtle: How do you start the Universe? by Professor Eugene Lim

To make predictions, we need to know both the dynamics that govern how things evolve and the initial conditions which these things evolve from. In a controlled laboratory setting, we can manipulate and observe initial conditions, and hence deduce the dynamics from repeated experiments. However, in cosmology, our laboratory is the entire Universe, where we have no control over the initial conditions. This leads to some big questions: How do we figure out the rules that govern the Universe's behaviour when we can't control how it began? Is it even possible to separate the dynamics from the initial conditions in cosmology?

In this lecture, I will be talking about the possibility that we can understand the initial conditions of cosmology by appealing to string theory.

Eugene Lim 350x350

Speaker bio:

Eugene received his PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2004 from the University of Chicago. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University (2004-2007) and Columbia University (2007-2010) whilst also being a Visiting Professor at the University of Fondwa in Haiti. In 2010 he became a lecturer in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. Eugene joined King’s College London in the Department of Physics in 2012. 

Please book your place in-person or online via Eventbrite.

Disclaimer: For in-person events we operate a policy of overbooking, given drop-out rates. Please ensure you arrive in good time to avoid disappointment on the day.


  • This event will be livestreamed from 17:00 to 18:20 and a recording will be shared on the NMES Faculty YouTube channel.
  • You will receive the livestream link closer to the event.

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At this event

Ruth Gregory

Ruth Gregory

Head of Department of Physics

Eugene Lim

Eugene Lim

Professor of Theoretical Physics

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