24 February 2022

University of Sheffield to host ‘His Dark Materials’ free event

This World Book Day, four experts from the University of Sheffield will look at the science from the award winning fantasy novels.

Northern Lights

Have you ever wondered whether parallel worlds could really exist? Or how we can see the invisible workings of the universe? Or what the northern lights really are?

An upcoming talk from the University of Sheffield will answer these questions and more, as academic experts delve into the science behind Phillip Pullman’s world famous ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy.

Taking place on World Book Day (Thursday 3 March 2022) four experts from the University of Sheffield will look at the science from the award winning fantasy novels and talk through the remarkable things we have learned, and have yet to learn, about our universe.

The event, titled Particles and Parallel Worlds - The Science Behind 'His Dark Materials' will be held at The Diamond at the University of Sheffield at 7pm until 9pm. The event will also be streamed live. Tickets are free and can be booked online:

Particles and Parallel Worlds - The Science Behind 'His Dark Materials'Dr Susan Cartwright, Professor Simon Goodwin, Professor Ed Daw and PhD student Jordan McElwee will each give a presentation inspired by the ideas and themes from the books, and there will then be a panel discussion where audience members can ask questions.

Professor Simon Goodwin, one of the event’s speakers from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: “There are so many wonderful ideas in the books, many are clearly fantastical, but there’s a lot of interesting science in there as well which is fun to look at.”

Phillip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy has sold over 17.5 million copies worldwide and been translated into 40 languages. The trilogy came third in the BBC's Big Read in 2003, a national poll of viewers' favourite books, after ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’. The first book, ‘The Golden Compass’ was made into a film in 2007, and in 2019 a television adaption of the trilogy was released. It has received critical acclaim, and the third and final season is expected to come out later this year.

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