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March 3, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Fiction


Jim Al-Khalili
jim al-khalili and cover


Lord Ashcroft Building, Anglia Ruskin University, Bishop Hall Lane
Chelmsford, CM1 1SQ
£8 concessions (27 years and under)

Box Office:

Mercury Theatre
01206 573948

Quantum physicist, author and presenter of the long-running weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific, Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS, joins us to talk about his debut novel Sunfall.

Sunfall book cover


Twenty-five years in the future, and our planet is facing a natural Armageddon that threatens all life on Earth – Professor Jim Al-Khalili combines rip-roaring storytelling and mind-expanding science in his debut thriller. Explosive and edge-of-your-seat: Sunfall is a classic Crichton-esque ‘what if’ thriller with a chilling USP – an event that could really happen.

2041 and the world as we know it grinds to a halt. Our planet seems to be turning against itself – it would appear that the magnetic field, that protects life on Earth from deadly radiation from space, is failing…

Desperate to quell the mass hysteria that would surely follow, world governments have concealed this rapidly emerging Armageddon. But a young Iranian hacktivist stumbles across the truth, and it becomes a race against time to reactivate the earth’s core using beams of dark matter.

As a small team of brave and brilliant scientists battle to find a way of transforming theory into practice, they face a fanatical group intent on pursuing their own endgame agenda: for they believe mankind to be a plague upon this earth and will do anything, commit any crime, to ensure that the project fails…

About the Author

“Award-winning science communicator, renowned around the world through his writing and broadcasting, as well as a leading academic making fundamental contributions to theoretical nuclear physics and quantum biology.”

Jim received his PhD in nuclear reaction theory in 1989 from the University of Surrey. He was awarded an SERC postdoctoral fellowship (1989–91) to work at University College London after which he returned to Surrey and joined the nuclear theory group there. In 1994, he was awarded a five-year EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship during which time he established himself as a leading expert in few-body dynamics of exotic atomic nuclei. He has published over 100 academic papers, mostly on nuclear physics. He currently co-director of the Leverhulme Doctoral Training Centre for Quantum Biology at Surrey where is still trying to make sense of quantum mechanics.

Since the mid-90s, Jim has established himself as one of the UK’s best known science communicators, for which he has received the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal (2007), the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal (2011) and the inaugural Stephen Hawking Medal (2016). He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2008.

He is the author of twelve books, translated into over twenty languages – including his first novel (the science fiction thriller, Sunfall). He is also a regular presenter of TV science documentaries and is probably best known among the British public as the presenter of the long-running weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific.


Anglia Ruskin University



Lord Ashcroft Building, Anglia Ruskin University
Bishop Hall Lane
Chelmsford, CM1 1SQ
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