Hawking Floats Genesis Bubble in Beijing
   2006-06-19 19:31:36       Xinhua

(Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking speaks at an international gathering of scientists on the origins of the universe at Beijing's Great Hall of the People in China Monday, June 19, 2006. Hawking is in Beijing to attend the 'Strings 2006' conference on the riddle of string theory which, if solved, could help unlock the mysteries of black holes and the creation of the universe. Photo: AP)

Is the universe eternal, or did it have a beginning? World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking gave his answer to a large audience in Beijing on Monday.

He gave a 45-minute multimedia presentation at the Great Hall of People on the occasion of the International Conference on String Theory 2006, that traced the development of theories on cosmic origins, beginning with African creation myths.

He described -- through his electronic speech synthesizer -- how the general theory of relativity and the discovery of the expansion of the universe provoked conceptual changes, which meant that the idea of an ever-existing, ever-lasting universe was no longer tenable.

The 64-year-old scientist and author of the global best-seller "A Brief History of Time" uses a wheelchair and communicates with the help of a computer because he suffers from a neurological disorder called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

One of the best-known theoretical physicists of his generation,Hawking has done groundbreaking research on black holes and the origins of the universe, proposing that space and time have no beginning and no end.

The image Hawking drew of this process was that of bubbles appearing and bursting, corresponding to mini universes that expand and collapse. Only those which grew to a certain size would be safe from collapse and would continue to expand at an ever increasing rate.

The theorem which he and Prof. Roger Penrose developed in 1970 said that general relativity predicated that the universe and time itself would begin with the big bang and that time would come to an end in black holes.

"One can get rid of the problem of time having a beginning in a similar way in which we got rid of the edge of the world," said Hawking.

Likening the beginning of the universe to the South Pole, with degrees of latitude playing the role of time, Hawking explained that the universe would start as a point at the South Pole.

"As one moves north, the circles of constant latitude, representing the size of the universe, would expand. To ask what happened before the beginning of the universe would become a meaningless question because there is nothing south of the South Pole," Hawking said.

In this view, the beginning of the universe would be governed by the laws of science: the creation of the universe would be down to spontaneous quantum creation.

"Cosmology is a very exciting and active subject. We are getting close to answering the age-old questions: Why are we here? Where did we come from?" Hawking said.

Share

               
Recommend


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. All rights reserved. Reproduction of text for non-commercial purposes only is permitted provided that both the source and author are acknowledged and a notifying email is sent to us.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

Google
Web en.chinabroadcast.cn
 Also on our site
China | World
• Russian Natural Gas Supplies to Balkans Halted
• Three Israeli Soldiers Killed in Friendly Fire in Gaza
• Polanski's Lawyers Seek to Have Sex Case Dismissed
• Foreign Journalists still Not Allowed into Gaza
• US VP-elect Joe Biden to Visit Pakistan
• China Curbs Overseas Trips on Public Expense
Business | Sports | SciTech
• China Issues Long-awaited 3G Licenses
• Wahaha, Danone Start Trademark Arbitration
• GM Reports 31 Percent Sales Decline in U.S. Market
• Call for More Overseas Talents
• Bulgarian Figure Skating Champion Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison
• China's Mission to Mars Set for Take-off
Life | Showbiz
• A Seemingly Endless Scandal
• Asian Art Top Show Kicks off in Beijing
• Behind-the-Scene Photos of "Look for a Star"
• Universal Pictures Movies Set New B.O. Record in 2008
• Tan Dun's Deep Pool of talent
• Top 10 Shows in 2008 
Webcast
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-07
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-06
• China Drive, Morning, 2009-01-06
• Official Property Declaration System
• India handed over evidence of Mumbai attacks to Pakistan
• EU delegation holds talks to push for a cease-fire in Gaza
• Mubarak Meets with EU Troika on Gaza Situation
• Bush says any Gaza ceasefire must stop Hamas rocket fire
 
View the Messages
Director: Liu Chi    Designer: Zhang Nan
Pagemaker: VJ  &  Wang Dandan