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Physicist David Tong is among the line-up for ALSO Festival weekend (14th to 16th July) – he explains a bit about the universe as a teasing taster

This weekend (14th to 16th July) the ALSO Festival at Park Farm, Compton Verney, offers a brilliant smorgasbord of wild swimming, music, crafts, comedy and speakers. Among them is Cambridge physicist David Tong. He shares some mind-bending thoughts with Gill Sutherland.

In a nutshell, what is quantum physics?

It’s our understanding of the universe on the most fundamental level possible. It’s an accumulation of 350 years of humankind, starting with Galileo and Newton and working through to Einstein, and we’re sort of still continuing on that journey.

What’s been going on in the universe of late that you will share at ALSO?

Loads of new things, and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to talk about yet if I’m honest. There were some wonderful results last week – we discovered for the first time that there’s a background hum in the universe. These enormous black holes collide constantly and so violently that they cause space, and in fact time itself, to wobble slightly – and we’ve detected that wobble. We talk in terms of noise, a hum, but that’s more of an analogy. Completely amazing.

What are some of the craziest theories that people struggle to get their heads round?

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