Friday, May 9, 2014

Stephen Hawking conference

Caltech regularly organizes conferences of all kinds and the last one in which we sat in dealt with the birth of the universe and was presented by Hawking . Stephen Hawking, for any respecting nerd, is a scientific reference in cosmology even if Jibouille and I know absolutely nothing about it.
Do not ask me why, maybe the synthesis voice, but he is highly publicized and is found both in Simpsons and Big Bang Theory (Sheldon is beaten by Hawking during a game) or Futurama and Star Trek. For those who do not know, Hawking is a British cosmologist known both for his work on black holes and his popular works as "A Brief History of Time". It is also known as he suffers from a disease that progressively paralyzes him and because of which he is in a wheelchair and communicates through a computer and voice synthesis.

The VIP of the conference
This conference was eagerly awaited by all Caltech (apparently it comes to a conference every year and it is always very popular) and so we started with a good half-hour wait under the sun.

Waiting line for the conference (and we were early!) and auditorium at the bottom
Auditorium with on the left the lane of JPL and on the right the Caltech queue
We finally entered in the auditorium, and then we waited a bit looking at the pictures of Hawking's life ... I had opportunity to take some pictures of the auditorium to give you a little insight.

Inside of the auditorium

Finally, the conference began and we attended a small presentation of the origin of the universe, fortunately, very much simplified, and therefore relatively easy to follow (even with the language barrier and computer voice!)

At the end of his presentation, some students came to ask questions (3 students whose questions were selected and previously prepared by Hawking). Hawking responded quite funny, like what all scientists are not boring to die;-) I'll put below the introduction of the conference (it is in fact the introduction of an older conference, but it looks like we got). So you have a little insight!

For those who want more information about the character, you can also go take a look at his website:

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