Science Colloquium about Stephen Hawking

04Apr2018 12:00 - 13:00


On 14 March, the well-known British physicist Stephen Hawking passed away. Hawking made important contributions to theoretical physics and cosmology, and moreover was very active in science popularization. In this special Science Colloquium, three UvA researchers will explain what Hawking has meant for them personally and for their research.

During the colloquium, television images of Hawking from 1977 will be shown, and Prof. Erik Verlinde, Dr Jan Pieter van der Schaar and Dr Marcel Vonk will take the stage. The three speakers will highlight Hawking’s work and personality, each from the point of view of their own work.

Stephen Hawking and black holes

Speaker: Erik Verlinde

The first time Prof. Erik Verlinde saw Stephen Hawking was in the television series 'Sleutel tot het Heelal' (Key to the Universe) that was broadcast on Dutch television in 1977. The series inspired him and his brother Herman to eventually become physicists themselves. This resulted in several meetings and discussions between Verlinde and Hawking, in particular about one of Hawking’s favourite research topics: black holes.

Stephen Hawking and the universe

Speaker: Jan Pieter van der Schaar

Hawking did not just investigate black holes, he was also very interested in the study of the universe as a whole: cosmology. He was in particular inspired by questions about the origin of the universe, and also made important contributions to this area. Dr Jan Pieter van der Schaar will explain what Hawking’s work in cosmology entails, and how it connects to his own research.

Stephen Hawking and the world

Speaker: Marcel Vonk

Even though Stephen Hawking was mostly known as a theoretical physicist, an important part of his work connected to astronomy. This raises the question how far astronomers are currently away from observing the effects predicted by Hawking in practice. Dr Marcel Vonk will review the current quick developments in this regard, and will highlight a different role that strongly connected Hawking to the 'real world': his role as a science communicator.

Location: Science Park 904, room C1.110

  • Science Park 904

    Science Park 904 | 1098 XH Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 8626

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Published by  Faculty of Science