Science fiction was once decribed as a kind of exercise bicycle for the mind: it doesn't take you anywhere but it tunes up the muscles that might.

In a unique Ri event, world famous authors Sir Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter came together to discuss their new series of novels entitled ‘The Long Earth' inspired by the many-worlds (or Everett) interpretation of quantum theory.

To introduce the topic, philosopher of physics David Wallace guides us through how the many-worlds interpretation arose from quantum mechanics and the crazy claims it makes about our Universe.

Can cats really be in two places at once? Will the anvils of the sun and moon ensure that the earth next door will be pretty much the same as this battered planet?

The event was hosted by author, journalist and broadcaster Roger Highfield and supported by Forbidden Planet.

Media Gallery

  • Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

    The Long Earth

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • The Royal Institution

    Ground Floor

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Dr David Wallace

    Arriving at the Ri

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Roger Highfield, Sir Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter and David Wallace

    The Long Earthy, Ri Event, 21 June 2012

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Sir Terry Pratchett

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Stephen Baxter

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Dr David Wallace

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Roger Highfield

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Roger Highfield and Terry Pratchett

    The Long Earthy, Ri Event, 21 June 2012

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Roger Highfield, Sir Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

    The Long Earth, Ri Event, 21 June 2012

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Roger Highfield, Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter and David Wallace

    The Long Earthy, Ri Event, 21 June 2012

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • Audience questions

    The Long Earthy, Ri Event, 21 June 2012

    Image: The Royal Institution

  • The Faraday Theatre

    The Long Earthy, Ri Event, 21 June 2012

    Image: The Royal Institution

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Terry Pratchett: The Long Earth

What if there are multiple earths? And what if we could go there? By Sir Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter, Dr David Wallace, Roger Highfield

Roger Highfield, Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

Image: The Royal Institution