John Bell Day
John Stewart Bell - 'The man who proved Einstein wrong'.
On 4th November 1964 John Bell (1928-1990) from Tate’s Avenue, Belfast changed the world of science by laying the foundation stone for quantum computing.
According to TIME magazine, quantum computing promises ‘a revolution on the order of the invention of the microprocessor or the splitting of the atom’. In short, quantum computers will be millions of times more powerful than current computer systems and will impact dramatically on our lives.
We in the Royal Irish Academy want to make John Bell a role model for the young people of Northern Ireland. We want to inspire them to see education and science as a route by which they can fulfil their greatest ambitions like Bell did.
Considered by many scientists to rank alongside Newton and Einstein, Bell was widely believed to be a front runner for the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics but tragically died earlier that year from a stroke. The Institute of Physics has described him as one of the top ten physicists of the twentieth century. According to Bell’s biographer, his work has ‘changed our perception of physical reality and the nature of the universe’.
Belfast remembers John Bell
Belfast Metropolitan College
To mark the 50th anniversary of his discovery, John Bell was honoured with the naming of a new street in Titanic Quarter in February 2015, the new street circles the Belfast MET College.
You can read John Bell’s full biography here.
Find out more about the annual John Bell Day here.
The 2018 John Bell Day will be held on 5 November 2018.
On 6 November 2017, the annual John Bell Day lecture was given by Professor Antonio Acin, Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona entitled 'Quantum information and communications: the legacy of John Bell'. The lecture was hosted by the Chief Executives’ Club and held at Riddel Hall, Queen's University Belfast.
Professor Antonio Acin, Institute of Photonic Sciences, University of Barcelona was the John Bell Day 2017 speaker. His lecture was entitled 'Quantum information and communications: the legacy of John Bell'.
Photo credit: John Bell © Cern.
In 2016, Ronald Hanson from the University of Delft – one of the top scientists working in quantum computing today – was at Queen's University Belfast to commemorate John Stewart Bell. A capacity audience attended a Breakfast Briefing with Professor Hanson, chaired by former Head of Public Policy at Intel, Leonard Hobbs. 175 people from the world of science and industry attended the discussion. 13 post-doctorate students then attended a masterclass session later that morning with Hanson, to exchange experiences and expertise.
Watch the interview with Professor Ronald Hanson and Leonard Hobbs.
John Bell Day 2016 was jointly organised by Queen's University Belfast. The day was supported by IBEC.