Hawking Talking, and More

Gosh, time flies!

I almost did not get to announce this before it was upon us. Tomorrow and the day after combine into a notable event in the College Commons series here at USC. Some of us have been working on this for quite a while. On Tuesday we have Stephen Hawking giving a big public lecture entitled “Out of a Black Hole”. Here’s the announcement. Note that general tickets for seats in Bovard Auditorium all went within hours of us releasing the tickets several weeks ago, but there is room in the two spill rooms that we have set up where there will be screens relaying the talk. Make a bit of an event of it and go with friends! [Update: I forgot to mention that we had a competition in local high schools and also at USC where the prize was to ask Stephen Hawking a question. People submitted questions over the last few weeks and we selected some of the best. There will be three undergraduates and three high school students coming up from the audience (we’ve a lot of high school students visiting us for the talk) to ask him a question each at the end. Should be fun.]

The day after, there will be a related event. Some of us from the physics department (Nick Warner, Elena Pierpaoli, and yours truly) will have a conversation and Q&A moderated by science writer K C Cole about the broader research issues into which fits some of what Stephen will talk about. The event, called loosely “The Origins of the Universe”, and the details are here.

Should be a fun and informative couple of days!

-cvj

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6 Responses to Hawking Talking, and More

  1. Bilal Shaw says:

    Wow, your talk for March 10th is already old out! 🙁

  2. Adam says:

    well, prof. hawkings comments today were quite interesting, as I’m sure you saw, particularly (for those who are concerned with such questions) the question about first cause and creation.

    maybe you’ll blog about this later, but what is your take on Feynman’s black hole probability argument (about which I know little)? I went to a talk of Hawking’s last year too and he was pretty pessimistic about string theory. Do physicists in your field feel similarly about quantum gravity theories, or is there the idea that the fields (of physics) are really describing the same thing?

  3. Clifford says:

    Truth be told I haven’t a clue what he was talking about as his claimed resolution of the information paradox. The clearest insight we’ve had into the issue has come from work in string theory and he went out of his way to not mention it at all, amusingly.

    -cvj

  4. Elliot Tarabour says:

    I have found his later work in Quantum Cosmology a good deal less coherent than some of his earlier contributions. That said, his simple survival to this point with ALS is a truly amazing story.

    e.

  5. Chuck says:

    hey, does anyone know, is he really talking?
    I have read more then once that his condition had gotten to the point (this is already over a decade ago) that only one or two people can understand him and translate what he’s saying.
    That the process is so laborious and limited, I just wonder if he’s really ‘giving the lecture’ or if he’s simply present at the reading of something that he contributed to, but is more the work of a ghost writer then Dr. Hawkings.
    I dont ask this with any malice, I promise! Great respect for his earlier works!
    So, anyone know for sure if its ‘really’ his lecture?

  6. Clifford says:

    Yes, it is his lecture. The computer reads his words out for him. Just like we can’t hear your voice here, but you are using a computer to “speak” for you by typing onto the screen. That we are reading your words rather than hearing your voice does not make it any less _your_ speech.

    I hope that helps.

    -cvj