Hawking speaks in Utrecht: ‘every citizen should indulge in the fundamentals of Science’
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“Every citizen must delve into the fundamental theories of science to prevent being mislead by experts,” explained world renowned physicist and astronomist Stephen Hawking to his audience in Utrecht on Friday afternoon. Hawking spoke during the opening stages of the symposium organized by physics student union, ‘A Eskwadraat’ at the Beatrix theater in Utrecht.
Stephen Hawking is best known for his works on black holes, space-time and the history of the universe. He was the first scientist to associate the theory of relativity with quantum physics. His popular science book titled, ‘A Brief History of Time’, sold more than ten million copies and has been translated into 35 languages.
“Can you hear me?,” Sounded the characteristic computer generated voice of Hawking who is confined to a wheelchair due to his illness (ALS) and is now almost completely paralyzed. He began talking about space-time, the Big Bang theory, and microwaves.
Hawking added a notch of humor to the room, “The microwaves you generate in your microwave to warm up a pizza are not the same as the ones I describe because they are incapable of reaching more than 72 degrees centigrade.”
Hawking’s speech was mainly about the holographic principle first devised by Dutch physicist and Nobel Prize winner Gerard ‘t Hooft, who provided the opening speech. Hawking lost a bet in 2004 against Gerard’ t Hooft on whether information goes missing once it ends up in a black hole.
The physicist also spoke about the rapid expansion of the universe, “After the First World War in Germany there was an inflation factor of ten million in just eighteen months. That ‘s nothing compared to the early universe. In just a fraction of a second the universe grew by a factor of a million trillion trillion.”Hawking praised the ability of man to expose scientific facts about the world and said to look out for further discoveries of young aspiring scientists. “Our ability to uncover information about the universe gives us the sense we can crown the entire universal creation,” said the Briton.
“In a democratic society, everyone should have basic knowledge about how the world works,” said Hawking at the end of his lecture. “By doing so, you prevent experts gaining too much power.” The statement encourages people to understand the fundamentals of science in order to avoid being mislead. The academic superstar received a deafening applause at the end of his lecture.