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Science Museum

A screening of The Man Who Knew Infinity, followed by a panel discussion about the brilliance of Ramanujan and the importance of his work to modern mathematics.

Colonial India, 1913. Srinavasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) is a 25-year-old shipping clerk and self-taught genius who fails at college due to his near-obsessive, solitary study of mathematics.

Determined to pursue his passion despite rejection and derision from his peers, Ramanujan writes a letter to G H Hardy (Jeremy Irons), an eminent British mathematics professor at Trinity College, Cambridge. Hardy recognises the originality and brilliance of Ramanujan’s raw talent and, despite the scepticism of his colleagues, brings him to Cambridge so that his theories can be explored.

Ramanujan leaves his family, his community, and his beloved young bride Janaki (Devika Bhisé) to travel across the world to England. There, he finds understanding and a deep connection with his sophisticated and eccentric mentor.

Under Hardy’s guidance, Ramanujan’s work evolves in ways that will revolutionise mathematics and transform how scientists explain the world, as Hardy fights tirelessly to get Ramanujan the recognition and respect he deserves from the mathematical establishment. Ultimately, Ramanujan is elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1918, aged just 30.

The Man Who Knew Infinity is the improbable true story of a unique genius whose pivotal theories propelled him from obscurity into a world in the midst of war, and of his struggle to show his genius to the world.

We are delighted to partner with the Royal Society, whose President Sir Venki Ramakrishnan joins us on the evening along with British mathematician Eugenia Cheng, author of Beyond Infinity: An expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics, to discuss the brilliance of Ramanujan and the importance of his work to modern mathematics. The panel discussion will be chaired by the Science Museum’s own Roger Highfield (Director of External Affairs). 

The Man Who Knew Infinity gallery