Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) (Updated 3/18/18)

From the PBS series of the same name.

"This could well be our final century. But I agree with Stephen Hawking: If we can begin to migrate into space -- and reap the rewards waiting for us there -- we will have ensured a certain immortality. And there's real reason to hope we can create a "back-up," whether on the strange gray shores of the Moon, the mysterious wastes of Mars, or both. Indeed, stark environmental realities, exacerbated by a surging population, have made space migration imperative for a long-term human future."

- Mac Tonnies from this (2006) PHB post.


Mac mentioned Stephen Hawking fairly often on Posthuman Blues. Although he didn't always agree with him, I'm fairly certain he would've had something (respectful) to say about his passing. At the same time, Hawking had been popping up a lot in the media in recent years - even on PMB (notably here and here) - so his was an unexpected loss.

Vale to Stephen Hawking, a truly amazing human.

For more information, there's the BBC article: Stephen Hawking: Visionary physicist dies aged 76; and an obituary from the NY Times, Stephen Hawking Dies at 76; His Mind Roamed the Cosmos. Other articles of note: Stephen Hawkings Six Wildest Predictions From 2017, an older link Mac had posted to PHB, Stephen Hawking: "Humans Have Entered a New Stage of Evolution", and, lastly, Stephen Hawking sampled on Pink Floyd’s The Endless River.


A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation

"In his ‘no boundary theory’, devised with James Hartle in 1983, the pair described how the Earth hurtled into existence during the Big Bang. But the theory also predicted a multiverse meaning the phenomenon was accompanied by a number of other ‘Big Bangs’ creating separate universes.

In his final paper, Hawking and Mr Hertog – professor for theoretical psychics at KU Leuven University in Belgium – explored how these universes could be found using a probe on a spaceship. The paper – named A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation – also predicted how our universe would eventually fade into blackness as the stars run out of energy. Hertog told the Sunday Times: ‘He has often been nominated for the Nobel and should have won it. Now he never can.’

... Carlos Frenk, professor of cosmology at Durham University, agreed that it has previously been impossible to measure other universes. She said: ‘The intriguing idea in Hawking’s paper is that [the multiverse left its imprint on the background radiation permeating our universe and we could measure it with a detector on a spaceship.’"

- This update emerges from the Metro article (with the misleading title): Stephen Hawking predicted the end of the world in new research submitted before he died.

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