The Christmas Lectures have come a long way since Michael Faraday first started performing live experiments to young audiences at the Royal Institution in the 19th century.

This year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are presented by Chris Bishop, chief research scientist at Microsoft Research, who will be treating us to live experiments later to be broadcast on Channel Five.

The events promise to be a "hi-tech trek to explore the science behind the digital revolution in search of the ultimate computer".

The lectures will be shown as follows:

Monday 29 December at 7.15pm - Breaking the speed limit
Tuesday 30 December at 7.15pm - Chips with everything
Wednesday 31 December at 7.15pm - The ghost in the machine
Thursday 1 January at 7.15pm - Untangling the web
Friday 2 January at 7.15pm - Digital intelligence