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The curator of the V&A’s new Alice in Wonderland exhibition sits down with a black hole physicist to discuss Lewis Carroll’s famous creation

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Mathematical concepts of space, time, logic and scale run throughout Carroll’s most famous creation – Alice in Wonderland. The geometry of the young protagonist’s walk through the shrinking corridor, or her tumble through the rabbit hole into a new universe, invoking later ideas of black holes and worm holes. In the follow up novel Alice’s journey ‘through the looking glass’ could even be analogous to parallel realities and multi dimension theories in physics. These curious connections might make more sense considering Carroll’s love of maths, logic and abstractions of reality, an interest perhaps ignited by his friendship with mathematicians and scientists like Michael Faraday.

To coincide with the V&A’s new exhibition Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, join its curator Kate Bailey in conversation with black hole physicist Professor Toby Wiseman, who recently re-read the books to his own children. Together they will explore the world of 19th century mathematics that so fascinated Carroll, and how radical ideas in logic at that time might have influenced his own creative mind. Finally, they will bring the story up to date with our latest understanding of concepts like space, time and black holes to look for any further links with the Wonderland Carroll created.

Great Exhibition Road Festival

The Great Exhibition Road Festival is a free annual celebration of science and the arts for all ages in South Kensington with an online events programme throughout the year.

Can art and science help inspire a greener future for the planet we share? Join us on 9-15 October for a celebration of our remarkable world and to explore how together we can protect its future against the imminent threat of climate change.

Discover a week of free events from museums, research and culture organisations based in and around Exhibition Road, including Imperial College London, Royal Commission of 1851, Discover South Kensington, Royal Albert Hall, the V&A, Science Museum, Royal College of Music, Natural History Museum and many more.

The Great Exhibition Road Festival is supported by Huawei, Lead Technology Sponsor

See all our upcoming events on the Festival website

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Organiser Great Exhibition Road Festival

Organiser of Alice in Numberland

The Great Exhibition Road Festival is a free annual celebration of science and the arts in South Kensington. Discover our new digital programme throughout the year, with free livestream events, discussions and a whole selection of activities for all ages.

Then join us for the Festival weekend in July 2021 with organisations around Exhibition Road and beyond, including Imperial College London, Royal Commission of 1851, Discover South Kensington, Royal Albert Hall, V&A, Science Museum, Royal College of Music, Natural History Museum and many more.

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