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Bye bye blackboard

by John

Blackboard exhibition - Sir Martin Rees

The image above is taken from a blackboard sketch made by the astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees in 2005.

“These diagrams consider what the aftermath of the big bang would have been like if two particular parameters were different from the values in our actual big bang: the quantity Q that measures how smooth the universe is, and Einstein’s cosmological constant ‘Lambda’. The shading delineates regions where galaxies could form.”

When Einstein visited Oxford in 1931 he used a blackboard to give a lecture about universal expansion. The blackboard was preserved and is on display at the Museum of the History of Science at the University of Oxford. In 2005 the museum commemorated the event by staging the Bye bye blackboard exhibition.

Other contributors include Tony Benn , Raymond Blanc , Alain de Botton , Brian Eno , Nicholas Grimshaw , Richard Harries , Michael Heath , Glenda Jackson , Lisa Jardine , Joanna MacGregor , Robert May , Cornelia Parker , Chris Patten , Bobby Robson , Jon Snow and Richard Wentworth.

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