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Brunel profs back on air for BBC R4 physics road trip

Following the success of their above ground re-tracing the route of the world’s biggest scientific experiment – the Large Hadron Collider – in Self Orbits CERN, Brunel Professors Will Self and Akram Khan are reuniting for another physics-based series.

This time they will be illuminating the life and career of Scots-born physicist James Clerk Maxwell in a five-part, 15 minute episode series again on BBC Radio Four which will begin on Monday November 23 at 12.04pm.

His work on electromagnetic waves 150 years ago proved pivotal in fundamentally altering the trajectory of physics from its Newtonian origins.  He paved the way for Einstein’s special theory of relativity and modern quantum physics.

Particle physicist Prof Khan and Will Self, Brunel’s Professor of Contemporary Thought begin their road trip on Maxwell’s trail from Edinburgh to Cambridge in the first episode of Self Drives: Maxwell’s Equations

The equations form the basis of many modern technologies from radio to mobile phones. Said Prof Khan: “Maxwell's equations are poetic and epic and have an astounding simplicity of expression, yet  they are profound in meaning and understanding of the natural world.

“These equations are and will be valid for all time and space giving them an eternal life that transcends human thought and existence. The four differential equations gave us the modern technological world and are the progenitors for relativity and the quantum universe.”