Professor Ben Murdin to take audience ‘back to the future’ in TEDx Talk

A TEDx Talk in Shanghai later this month will feature a session by Surrey’s Professor Ben Murdin on how electrons can be made to go back in time.

The TEDx talk, due to take place in Shanghai’s Fuxing Park Expo exhibition hall on 22 April, is themed on ‘Back to the Future’. The famous film trilogy, where the main character travels back in time to put things right for the future, raises important questions about whether the future is determined by destiny or free will – a topic that will be tackled by a diverse range of international speakers from industry and academia.

During his talk, Professor Murdin will highlight the advances the University is making in the field of quantum technology, which is based on manipulating individual electrons to behave and interact in a certain way.

He explains: “My talk will focus on how old technology is getting a new life. Silicon chips have been used for electronic devices since the late ‘50s, and the challenge was to get crystals of higher and higher purity, but then to create deliberate defects and impurities to control the flow of electrical signals through the chip.

“Today, in our quest for quantum technology, we need to understand and control the quantum motion of electrons as they orbit the defects. The simplest, but also one of the weirdest of these quantum effects we can now produce is ‘time reversal’, where time runs backwards for the electrons – and you trigger it with a flash of light, just like Marty McFly in the ‘Back to the Future’ movie.”

The global TEDx programme is designed to help communities, organisations and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local ‘TED-like’ experiences. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a non-profit organisation which posts talks online under the slogan ‘ideas worth spreading’.

For more information on Professor Murdin’s TEDx Talk, please contact Dr Juerong (Nicole) Li at

Explore our programmes in Physics, including our degrees in Physics with Quantum Technologies.


See the original feature here

Comments are disabled