So last week, physics major friend and I went to see two great physicists Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne give a great informative talk/lecture on black holes and Thorne’s research on gravitational waves and project LIGO. Dr. Thorne also showed simulations of colliding black holes and how their vortices would interact. It was breathtaking and very cool - just all mindblowing… wished I knew more physics to clearly understand all of what they talked about.
At the end, there was a q/a but instead of the audience being able to ask questions they showed video of students asking questions from Hawking’s past visit this year and played his answers afterwards since it would take some time for to him to answer. But still, I wished the audience could have asked questions… because Vij had some better questions that those Caltech students… I teased him, “If only you went to Caltech…” We wouldn’t have mind staying till 11 for them to answer questions! At the end, he went near to the stage and was super close to asking Dr. Thorne a question but he waited 5 seconds too late.
We laughed so hard to the Landau physicist productivity scale question — Landau assigned Newton 1, Einstein a 0.5, and himself a 2. The question: where would Hawking rank himself, to which he answered: Landau was good, but not that good. He added that “People who rank themselves are losers.”
I got to see Alice Walker reading a short story about her visit to Brazil in April and now Stephen Hawking, who’s next on the list? who can top Hawking?
We had a great time, a great start to an awesome summer ahead. I asked him if it exceeded our expectations and he said “Yeah, who knew Stephen Hawking has a great sense of humor!” Definitely will be telling our friends and heck this is something you’ll definitely tell your kids and grandkids.
I found a photo of me (bottom left corner) as we were all standing up at the beginning. Yup, had pretty good seats. Too bad Vij is not in the frame, he’s to the left of me.