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Stephen Hawking - RiP

mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,755
edited March 2018 in The cake stop
Quite surprised that nobody started this yesterday.

Briefly. He had an incredible mind that was able to relay the complexities of physics/space/maths to the layman. Not only that he was a prime example of never letting disability standing in the way of your dreams and achievements. I am sure he will be sorely missed within the science community.
Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.

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  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 12,671
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Quite surprised that nobody started this yesterday.

    Briefly. He had an incredible mind that was able to relay the complexities of physics/space/maths to the layman. Not only that he was a prime example of never letting disability standing in the way of your dreams and achievements. I am sure he will be sorely missed within the science community.

    I think you are underestimating yourself - this layman really did not get anymore than a superficial understanding. This is entirely my fault and no way a criticism of him.

    maybe you could start a thread to take us thicko laymen from a meaningless quote to a basic understanding of why if there was a big bang it started from an infinitely small point. Now as I failed "O" level physics an infinitely small point just seems a contradiction on terms
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,941
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Quite surprised that nobody started this yesterday.

    Briefly. He had an incredible mind that was able to relay the complexities of physics/space/maths to the layman. Not only that he was a prime example of never letting disability standing in the way of your dreams and achievements. I am sure he will be sorely missed within the science community.

    I think you are underestimating yourself - this layman really did not get anymore than a superficial understanding. This is entirely my fault and no way a criticism of him.

    maybe you could start a thread to take us thicko laymen from a meaningless quote to a basic understanding of why if there was a big bang it started from an infinitely small point. Now as I failed "O" level physics an infinitely small point just seems a contradiction on terms

    It wasn't infinitely small. It was just unimaginably small.

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  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,755
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Quite surprised that nobody started this yesterday.

    Briefly. He had an incredible mind that was able to relay the complexities of physics/space/maths to the layman. Not only that he was a prime example of never letting disability standing in the way of your dreams and achievements. I am sure he will be sorely missed within the science community.

    I think you are underestimating yourself - this layman really did not get anymore than a superficial understanding. This is entirely my fault and no way a criticism of him.

    maybe you could start a thread to take us thicko laymen from a meaningless quote to a basic understanding of why if there was a big bang it started from an infinitely small point. Now as I failed "O" level physics an infinitely small point just seems a contradiction on terms

    Ok. Some layman. Clearly though you are very capable at non science stuff.
    My son is the scientific brains of the family and has read The Brief History......., book and can explain to me that kind of stuff. Although my grasp of if is not good at all. However that book did inspire many younger people to pursue careers in science. A modern day new testament? I say this because its all theoretical. Which is why he never won the Nobel Science Prize.

    Better do some work. Non science. Bl00dy construction. And my new lords and masters issued a profits warning yesterday and shares plummeted 20%. Their reasons were false. But then fake news is everything these days.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 11,838
    maybe you could start a thread to take us thicko laymen from a meaningless quote to a basic understanding of why if there was a big bang it started from an infinitely small point. Now as I failed "O" level physics an infinitely small point just seems a contradiction on terms

    Are you confusing infinite with infinitesimal? One is big, one is small.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 13,837
    The difficulty I have with anything in this area is that you have to accept that your understanding of things as fundamental to the human experience like time, space and matter are subjective. Unfortunately I can't get very far down that thinking before I hit a dead end.
  • Mr Goo wrote:
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Quite surprised that nobody started this yesterday.

    Briefly. He had an incredible mind that was able to relay the complexities of physics/space/maths to the layman. Not only that he was a prime example of never letting disability standing in the way of your dreams and achievements. I am sure he will be sorely missed within the science community.

    I think you are underestimating yourself - this layman really did not get anymore than a superficial understanding. This is entirely my fault and no way a criticism of him.

    maybe you could start a thread to take us thicko laymen from a meaningless quote to a basic understanding of why if there was a big bang it started from an infinitely small point. Now as I failed "O" level physics an infinitely small point just seems a contradiction on terms

    Ok. Some layman. Clearly though you are very capable at non science stuff.
    My son is the scientific brains of the family and has read The Brief History......., book and can explain to me that kind of stuff. Although my grasp of if is not good at all. However that book did inspire many younger people to pursue careers in science. A modern day new testament? I say this because its all theoretical. Which is why he never won the Nobel Science Prize.

    Better do some work. Non science. Bl00dy construction. And my new lords and masters issued a profits warning yesterday and shares plummeted 20%. Their reasons were false. But then fake news is everything these days.
    I would have thought that the construction industry uses a fair bit of science, Mr Goo.
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  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 23,446 Lives Here
    I would have thought that the construction industry uses a fair bit of science, Mr Goo.
    Lets hope the construction industry doesn't get fed up with experts.
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,424
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Quite surprised that nobody started this yesterday.

    Did you try to access this site yesterday? Unfortunately, the minds of the people creating this site are not on the level of Hawking and are trying to use a platform that seems to have gone out of date in the 90s!

    I would echo other comments, I've no doubt he did a load for science and his attitude to the ultimate adversity was incredible but I think a lot of people go for the 'made theoretical physics understandable to the masses' whilst secretly they didn't have a clue what he was saying but were scared to admit to it. My job uses a fair amount of applied physics but the theoretical stuff on time, space and the 'big bang' just go way over my head and seem to rely on fairly big leaps of faith on 'let's assume this theory is correct and then if this happened then maybe this would occur'. I'm sure that this isn't the case but it is just such a huge and complex subject my brain can't even begin to cope with it.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,773
    Some science, Hawking's field of it in particular, is overwhelming. I've read " A Brief History", "The Search for Schrodinger's Cat" and a few other books on the subject of relativity, quantum theory and the relationship (or not) between the two and cannot honestly say that I have fully (or indeed even partially in some cases) understood them but I will continue to try. They are supposed to be "layman's explanations" of such stuff but are still difficult to get one's head around at times*.

    Apart from the strange celebrity that Hawking rightly achieved, I always found it the cruellest of ironies that one side of his brain was so corrupted and damaged by MND that it rendered him unable to walk, talk or function at all physically whilst the other side was capable of the most beautiful and imaginitive thought, analysis and calculation.

    Although there are other less celebrated scientists around, his kind are few and far between and mankind has lost a precious resource



    *Incidentally "Why does E=mc2 and Why Does It Matter" by Prof Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw is as close to a layman's explanation of that equation that we all know but rarely fully understand as I have seen - it really is a great book if you want to gain a greater understanding of Einstein's equation and uses nothing more matehmatically challenging than Pythagoras to explain it).
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  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,252
    Favourite Stephen Hawking story was from a producer of Newsnight. He appeared on the programme, the producer was in the room setting up for interview. The producer pulled out a lead for a light and Hawkins slumped forward in his chair like something vital had been disconnected. The producer panicked and ran for help, returning to the room to find Hawking chuckling.
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  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 11,838
    Pross wrote:
    I would echo other comments, I've no doubt he did a load for science and his attitude to the ultimate adversity was incredible but I think a lot of people go for the 'made theoretical physics understandable to the masses' whilst secretly they didn't have a clue what he was saying but were scared to admit to it. My job uses a fair amount of applied physics but the theoretical stuff on time, space and the 'big bang' just go way over my head and seem to rely on fairly big leaps of faith on 'let's assume this theory is correct and then if this happened then maybe this would occur'. I'm sure that this isn't the case but it is just such a huge and complex subject my brain can't even begin to cope with it.

    Special relativity, general relativity and quantum mechanics were created due to observed results, so it is slightly unfair to describe them as giant leaps of faith. However, that might be a more accurate description of the grand unified theories and the big bang which Hawking spent a lot of his time on.

    Just in case anyone has a vague interest, I'll give the background to special relativity. Michelson–Morley came up with a way of measuring the speed of light. They theorised that due to the rotation of the earth, the measurement would produce different speeds depending on the direction in which it was measured. For example, if you drive along a motorway at 70 mph, the car next to you appears stationary whilst the one in the opposite direction appears to be going at 140 mph - all relative to you the observer.

    The problem was that whichever direction they measured it, the speed of light was always the same. This didn't make any sense. Various theories to explain this phenomenon were hypothesised. Einstein's theory was that the speed of light was the same to all observers - in the context of cars on a motorway this makes little sense. This explained the Michelson–Morley experiment and is the fundamental assumption that underpins special relativity.

    An experiment involving solar eclipses was devised to test this theory. This was done in 1919 and led to Einstein's fame. I think I read somewhere that whilst the conclusion was accurate the actual test conditions were flawed, so they got a bit lucky.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 12,671
    TheBigBean wrote:
    maybe you could start a thread to take us thicko laymen from a meaningless quote to a basic understanding of why if there was a big bang it started from an infinitely small point. Now as I failed "O" level physics an infinitely small point just seems a contradiction on terms

    Are you confusing infinite with infinitesimal? One is big, one is small.

    lifted from the BBC so at least proving that I know more than the author
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 12,671
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    I would echo other comments, I've no doubt he did a load for science and his attitude to the ultimate adversity was incredible but I think a lot of people go for the 'made theoretical physics understandable to the masses' whilst secretly they didn't have a clue what he was saying but were scared to admit to it. My job uses a fair amount of applied physics but the theoretical stuff on time, space and the 'big bang' just go way over my head and seem to rely on fairly big leaps of faith on 'let's assume this theory is correct and then if this happened then maybe this would occur'. I'm sure that this isn't the case but it is just such a huge and complex subject my brain can't even begin to cope with it.

    Special relativity, general relativity and quantum mechanics were created due to observed results, so it is slightly unfair to describe them as giant leaps of faith. However, that might be a more accurate description of the grand unified theories and the big bang which Hawking spent a lot of his time on.

    Just in case anyone has a vague interest, I'll give the background to special relativity. Michelson–Morley came up with a way of measuring the speed of light. They theorised that due to the rotation of the earth, the measurement would produce different speeds depending on the direction in which it was measured. For example, if you drive along a motorway at 70 mph, the car next to you appears stationary whilst the one in the opposite direction appears to be going at 140 mph - all relative to you the observer.

    The problem was that whichever direction they measured it, the speed of light was always the same. This didn't make any sense. Various theories to explain this phenomenon were hypothesised. Einstein's theory was that the speed of light was the same to all observers - in the context of cars on a motorway this makes little sense. This explained the Michelson–Morley experiment and is the fundamental assumption that underpins special relativity.

    An experiment involving solar eclipses was devised to test this theory. This was done in 1919 and led to Einstein's fame. I think I read somewhere that whilst the conclusion was accurate the actual test conditions were flawed, so they got a bit lucky.

    Bizarrely I think Pross just explained why I don't understand it -

    BigBean - thanks for putting up this explanation and (think) I get the first part of your explanation but why is the speed of light the same for everybody?
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 11,838
    BigBean - thanks for putting up this explanation and (think) I get the first part of your explanation but why is the speed of light the same for everybody?

    It is a statement of fact that is supported by experiment. There's no intuitive way to imagine it - that's why it so hard to even start to understand.
    Asked in 1919 whether it was true that only three people in the world understood the theory of general relativity, [Eddington] allegedly replied: 'Who's the third?”
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 12,671
    TheBigBean wrote:
    BigBean - thanks for putting up this explanation and (think) I get the first part of your explanation but why is the speed of light the same for everybody?

    It is a statement of fact that is supported by experiment. There's no intuitive way to imagine it - that's why it so hard to even start to understand.
    Asked in 1919 whether it was true that only three people in the world understood the theory of general relativity, [Eddington] allegedly replied: 'Who's the third?”

    a good explanation

    I now know why I do not understand it
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,167
    I would have thought that the construction industry uses a fair bit of science, Mr Goo.

    It does.
    Ben

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