In 1970 Hannes Alfvén (1908-1995), a professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discoveries in plasma physics and their applications. The exhibition “Space Waves and a Tale” presents portions of Alfvén’s extensive research, his active civic engagement and, not least, his 1966 literary work “Sagan om den stora datamaskinen” (published in English by Gollancz in 1968 as “The Great Computer – A Vision”)

Alfvén’s research takes us to all corners of the universe – from the northern lights on earth to the northern lights on other planets, from solar wind to stellar wind, from plasma phenomena in the laboratory to astrophysical plasma phenomena in our own and other galaxies.

“Sagan om den stora datamaskinen” is a satire set in the future – a vision of a human society run by computers – and is the inspiration for a newly written opera, “The Tale of the Great Computing Machine”. This opera will premiere in the Reactor Hall at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in December, where there will be performances over a two-week period.

As part of the exhibition “Space Waves and a Tale”, visitors will be invited to peer into the future and share their visions of how technology may affect our lives and societies. Two students from the School of Architecture at KTH are contributing a specially designed flexible and sustainable exhibition module.

The exhibition will open on 4 October and run until 16 December. It was produced by KTH 200 Years, in collaboration with the KTH Library, Operan The Tale, the Division of Space and Plasma Physics and the School of Architecture.