News and events archive 2004 - 2013


A Fuss About Nothing

Science Faculty Annual Lecture 2008 at the University of Leicester on 12th March

The celebrated Professor of Physics and Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford, Professor Frank Close, is to give the Science Faculty Annual Lecture 2008 at the University of Leicester on 12th March, with a talk entitled The Void – a talk about nothing.

In his talk, Professor Close, author of the popular books The Void, The New Cosmic Onion and The Cosmic Onion, will tell the story of the voyage into matter. He will ask where everything came from and consider what might happen if you were to remove it all.

Questions he will pose include: What is the nature of the void? Why does nature ‘abhor a vacuum’? Could the Universe really be a quantum fluctuation out of nothing? If so, who or what said so? And where was this encoded ‘before’?

Professor Close is one of the country’s most eminent theoretical physicists, a committed teacher and science communicator.

In 1993 he gave the Royal Institution Christmas lecture on The Cosmic Onion. His enthusiastic and exciting reputation in outreach work resulted in the award of the Kelvin Medal from the Institute of Physics in 1996.

Professor Close also headed CERN’s (the European Organization for Nuclear Research’s) communication and public education activities between 1997-2000.

Professor Rob Hillman, the Dean of Science, commented: "We are accustomed to theoretical physics making us think about the microscopically small in the atomic world and the almost unbelievably immense in space - but always something. Prof. Close will now present us with the entirely new challenge of having to think about nothing."

The Void – a talk about nothing will take place on Wednesday 12th March 2008 at 7pm in the Ken Edwards Building lecture theatre 1, on the main campus of the University of Leicester.

Admission is free, but by ticket only. Tickets are available from, or tel 0116 252 3403.

There was encouraging feedback after the lecture took place, and one teacher from Judgemeadow commented: "The lecture was absolutely brilliant, I really enjoyed it. I just wish he had talked all night. Please organise another one soon!"

Notes to Editors: For more information on this please contact Mrs Chris Goddard, Science Faculty Office, University of Leicester, tel 0116 252 3403, email

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