Today we are going to talk about Stephen Hawking as he has been in the news quite a lot lately. I would say that he is somewhat of a hero of mine, as when I read A Brief history of Time it really blew my mind and made me start to think about the universe and what was out there. I dare say that that book changed my life. I was always pretty weird growing up, but after reading that I really had so many more questions and just an eagerness to learn about the universe. I have talked about it many times in my posts and highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance. It’s a pretty quick read and everything is very basic and dumbed-down if you will.
So Hawking has been in the news for two reasons. First, for saying that the Higgs-Boson, could potentially become unstable and thus end the universe as we know it. The second was that he threw a party for time-travelers, I will let some suspense build as you contemplate how many time travelers showed up to the party.
Absolutely 0, that’s right not one time traveler showed up. In fact no one showed up to the party because Hawking mailed out the invitations after the party was over as a way to show that time travel to the past is impossible as he believes. The interesting thing here is that pretty much all the mathematical models do not rule out time travel to the past, which I think is awesome. So it is theoretically possible. Hawking though, believes that regardless of what the models say it is impossible and hosted this party to prove a point albeit in a sort of jest toward those who think it is possible. Hawking has been wrong before, I don’t hold that against him, he was wrong about the Higgs-Boson as well as a theory he had on Black Holes. Still when Hawking speaks most people listen as cool as I think time travel would be I do not know if it is possible. The below article touches on the theories that surround travel to the past. I sort of understand them but I think they explain it better, so if you are wanting an explanation check out the article below. The article mostly talks about the infamous grandfather paradox, and how they think they may have found a solution for it.
The other reason Hawking was in the news was because of his comments about the Higgs-Boson, saying –
“This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light. This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming.”
I know little about the HB other than it is the thing, particle, that gives every other particle in the universe their mass. So if it were to become unstable that could be very bad for us as, I would assume, particles would begin behaving very differently. We are made of particles so I do not think this would be a good thing. The article below goes into more detail about his thoughts. Hawking also has another book coming out called Starmus which is a collection of lectures from physicists on different subjects in the field. The other thing that I found surprising in the article is that Hawking thinks we, as humans, only have about 1,000 years left on the planet. I would be very interested to find out why he thinks that? But that is a post for another day.