MUST READ: Facts About Stephen Hawking


1. Despite his extraordinary physical challenges, Hawking hasn't been shy about appearing on television. He first appeared as himself on a 1993 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, cracking jokes while playing poker with Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. 

2. His 1988 book A Brief History of Time has sold more than 10 million copies. 

3. In 2016 he said that he thought humanity only had about 1,000 years left, thanks to AI, climate change, and other (avoidable) disasters. Last year he reduced that horizon exponentially—100 years left, he warned, unless we changed our ways.

4. Hawking always starts his lectures with the same quip: "Can you hear me?" Hawking managed to be characteristically funny while guiding the audience through the bold ideas he has developed about the origins of the universe over the past decades. 

5. Hawking: No one can visualise four dimensions. Three dimensions are hard enough. What I do is visualise two-dimensional sections, remembering they are part of a four-dimensional whole. 


Photo By: Goalcast

1. Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. 

2. With genetic engineering, we will be able to increase the complexity of our DNA, and improve the human race. But it will be a slow process, because one will have to wait about 18 years to see the effect of changes to the genetic code.

3. No one undertakes research in physics with the intention of winning a prize. It is the joy of discovering something no one knew before.

4. I was never top of the class at school, but my classmates must have seen potential in me, because my nickname was 'Einstein.'

5. The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.

6. If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans.

7. Time travel used to be thought of as just science fiction, but Einstein's general theory of relativity allows for the possibility that we could warp space-time so much that you could go off in a rocket and return before you set out.

8. We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.

9. Science is beautiful when it makes simple explanations of phenomena or connections between different observations. Examples include the double helix in biology and the fundamental equations of physics.

10. Although September 11 was horrible, it didn't threaten the survival of the human race, like nuclear weapons do.

11. In my school, the brightest boys did math and physics, the less bright did physics and chemistry, and the least bright did biology. I wanted to do math and physics, but my father made me do chemistry because he thought there would be no jobs for mathematicians.

12. Women. They are a complete mystery.

13. There is a real danger that computers will develop intelligence and take over. We urgently need to develop direct connections to the brain so that computers can add to human intelligence rather than be in opposition.

14. I have so much that I want to do. I hate wasting time.

15. Cambridge is one of the best universities in the world, especially in my field.



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