From the Dark Ages to Dark Matter in Pictures

From the Dark Ages to Dark Matter in Pictures

Who are we? Why do we exist? What is the universe?

Festival attendees explored these fundamental questions in an encounter between medieval and modern science, through the writings and imagination of the famous medieval scientist Robert Grosseteste (c. 1170–1253). The day-long workshop at Durham Cathedral unlocked the secrets of the medieval universe, the medieval ‘big bang’ and the medieval explanation for rainbows.

Popular science journalist Michael Brooks chaired the day.

A photographic record of the day (photos courtesy of Gabriel Fidler and Giles Gasper).

Collaborative reading groups, On Light, Brian in the lead.

Collaborative reading groups, On Light, Brian in the lead.

Collaborative reading and thinking

Collaborative reading and thinking

Collaborative reading groups, Devin O’Leary contemplating the text

Collaborative reading groups, Devin O’Leary contemplating the text

More concentration on Grosseteste’s texts – Jon Turnock in the foreground

More concentration on Grosseteste’s texts – Jon Turnock in the foreground

Richard Bower explaining the treatise on light

Richard Bower explaining the treatise on light

Michael Brooks in the group on colour

Michael Brooks in the group on colour

Medieval science in action

Medieval science in action

Medieval science in action

Medieval science in action

Hannah leading colour discussions

Hannah leading colour discussions

Modern science leading the way – Brian in action

Modern science leading the way – Brian in action

Measuring Grosseteste’s experiments

Measuring Grosseteste’s experiments

With Tom as well!

With Tom as well!

Imaging and lens

Imaging and lens

Refraction and the tea-cup (mutatis mutandis a medieval experiment)

Refraction and the tea-cup (mutatis mutandis a medieval experiment)

More medieval science…

More medieval science…

The magnificent setting of Durham Cathedral’s Chapter House

The magnificent setting of Durham Cathedral’s Chapter House

Final sessions on the medieval cosmos, back in the Chapter House

Final sessions on the medieval cosmos, back in the Chapter House

Our participants

Our participants

Richard and the making of the medieval and modern universes

Richard and the making of the medieval and modern universes

About to explore the medieval cosmos visualisation, which closed the day

About to explore the medieval cosmos visualisation, which closed the day