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Stephen Hawking told me, "I'm so glad to serve the science in Malta …"

Paul P. Borg

Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 16:35
Last change: about 1 minute ago

I remember how embarrassing I was as a junior engineering student in Germany in Saarbrücken and later in Wuppertal, when asked to give public presentations. I have never been asked, let alone trained, in Malta. This urged me later, when I was working at De la Salle College, to organize scientific and technological initiatives for my students.

I was later Professor Stephen Hawking's Books A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes The Universe in Brief and His Biographies I Read and Read. His books have never really left my bed.

Over the years Hawking made me realize two important facts of life that I was sure would be of benefit to students seeking knowledge and knowledge. First, it was his mental strength, his freedom of thought that ALS could not overcome and kill. It allowed him to thrive and work hard despite major physical limitations. Secondly, his continued study of the stars and the universe, and at the same time the humility that man must have. In fact, Hawking loves Newton's letter to Robert Hooke, in which Newton explains that standing on Riesen's shoulders helped him to see further than he could by himself. Newton, with all his discoveries, considered himself only a small boy who found a smoother rounder pebble, or a nicer shell, than the immensity of the ocean of truth had yet to be discovered.

I realized that the determination and great accomplishments in astrophysics of this theoretical wheelchair related physicist, despite his physical disabilities in motor neurone disease, must be used to inspire students on their own Striving for learning and knowledge to be strong. I wanted to come up with some educational tools to promote skills and abilities dormant for students who are unaware of their latent abilities. My desire was to create a platform for students where their imagination can be unleashed and fired into something that can last a lifetime. The schools became more and more sophisticated, the laboratories were more accessible. Thus, the infrastructure was more or less available. The more I saw the image of Hawking in his wheelchair on the Short History of Time the more I wondered why I should not try.

I was at De la Salle College where I taught physics and graphic communication as I put a plan into action to create this platform of activities for students where they could learn new skills or improve those already existing. It was an effort not to miss. My idea appealed to Brother Thomas and Brother Dominic, and Brother James, who was locked up in his library, never stopped talking about it. My students were incredibly enthusiastic and produced not only detailed engineering drawings and plans, but also the 3D projects – real self-built AC units – real fully functional gasoline rockets, homemade go-karts, by a 14-year-old … The Fun, the passion, the creativity, the skills, (and headaches and danger!) Were not attainable!

I finally brought the idea to the San Andrea Senior School, where we organize the activity every year. Groups of students are asked to present viva voce researches of their choice. Seminars are held, supervised by science teachers, and participants are grilled by peers and teachers . Finally, a winning team is selected by a panel of experts after a public presentation.

Fortunately, when the project was presented at the San Andrea Senior School, the headmaster Evan Debrincat was a very technical, practical man and enthusiastic about my idea. He kept asking about the methods I used at De la Salle. I decided to name the project after Stephen Hawking in the hope that the students would imitate his stubbornness and abilities. At the time, I was a HOD of science and technology and chair of the Technology Focus Group session at the university and immediately thought of meeting Professor Hawking in person. I left no stone unturned to endure him at the University of Cambridge, and I remember how excited I was when he not only asked me to meet me, but also generously as a physics teacher to ask him any question about the universe Send! Understandably, my joy was limitless. Professor Hawking wanted a question about the universe so that he could prepare an answer for me when we met, which of course I did! I was more than aware that if I had read all the books he had written, it did not mean that I really understood everything and had what he had written! But on the contrary!

It was with trepidation and fear that I drove some students and collaborators from San Andrea in the pouring rain at night from London to Cambridge. The culmination of my mission was to meet this wheelchair-bound physics giant, and although he'd asked me to send my Universe question, I was not so sure now if my question was smart enough, or maybe simple enough for me knew the answer! The silence in the car, the black holes dancing in front of me, the snoring of the girls, the jarring of the huge wheels of heavy vehicles that I passed, the wrong turn-offs, the junctions, the furious windshield wipers, the hectic windshield beating the speedometer moving directly or indirectly in motion with my raging thoughts … and I asked the question again and again, counting the hours before our meeting.

We met at the DAMTP in Cambridge. We reached the university hours before the appointed time. I did not want to risk anything. Better wait and wait patiently than in a traffic jam. We had the opportunity to eat at the university cafeteria while we waited to be called, and finally we were taken to his office. It was so nice to have physics with him and the Ph.D. Students in his office. I still remember how they wrote formulas and drawings on the blackboard. His monotone voice still sounds loud and clear as our eyes met, and his explanation of my question about the expanding universe appeared incredibly fast on the monitor during the brief discussion. I still treasure with great pride and gratitude those unforgettable moments in which he expressed his sincere happiness and joy when I told him all about our school San Andrea and the need to have his name on our scientific endeavors! To this day, we call it [StephenHawkingScienceandTechnologyProject.

I remember the cup of tea he drank and how he drank it. I remember how quiet the three students were, charmed, literally fascinated by his presence the three students. I myself was in awe of the person who dared to defy Hoyle and said that black holes are not really all black holes! I still remember his cold, immovable hand as I gripped it almost reverently as I presented him with a modest bottle of pure honey from the Mûarr Garigues and a copy of my book Selmun A History of Love . 19659005] But most of the time I remember the captivating smile on his face, the insightful glitter and the friendly brightness in his speaking eyes as he wrote on his monitor "I'm so glad to serve the science in Malta .. . "

The search for discoveries is inherent in human nature: a toddler explores the small space, the explorer ventures into strange, untouched jungles; One day, the spaceship will jump into the intergalactic space. Man is always in & # 39; search for & # 39; Land, New Horizons and New Knowledge: The quest for discovery stifles the curiosity and creativity of humanity. Man has no break, never will. Man is not a human without this search. "When we reach the end of the line, the human mind will shrink and die," wrote Stephen Hawking somewhere in his book The Universe in a Nutshell

And he just did that: He has it Never abandoned with extraordinary intelligence, wit, humor, charisma, headstrong stubbornness, always on the lookout for a deceptive theory that would seal everything. That kept him alive and kept him alive, despite the brief life prognosis he received in his early twenties when he was diagnosed with ALS, making brilliant discoveries.

His birthday on January 8, 1942, as Strange Randomness it would have been, was the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death, which almost coincided with Isaac Newton's own birthday. However, Stephen thought this was another coincidence, as it was likely that 200,000 other babies were born with him that day. He even occupied the same chair as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, once held by Isaac Newton. Time, as fate always came: He died on March 14, 2018, the same day that Einstein was born in 1879.

His father Frank, a specialist in tropical medicine, and his mother Isobel had been students in Oxford. He was a clever boy in St. Albans, lean and petty, uniform always in a confusion, speaking quickly and confusedly; his colleagues called his speech "Hawkingese". He seemed to have fun in class, funny, sometimes bullied and respected. His writing was messy, his work shabby and careless, never tied to his studies, brilliant in mathematics. At the age of 17, he went to Oxford and earned a first-class degree, which was the ticket to his research career in Cambridge. As a student, he will be remembered as relaxed, fun-loving, sporty and enjoyable.

Gradually, ALS took over his body and locked him in a wheelchair. At the age of 21, in 1963, he married Jane Wilde, a friendly student, and they had three children. The wheelchair did not keep him from life: he loved life, he wanted to live life under his own conditions, and he did. He spoke through a computer, his body was not free, but he even danced in his wheelchair and teasingly tipped the wheelchair over his toes. It is said that he sometimes drove his wheelchair over the toes of people he did not like, like Prince Charles and regretted not having a chance to run over Margaret Thatcher's toe! "

I can not move, I can not speak, but my mind is free! He eventually became the most famous theoretical physicist who passed on the unexpected connection between the universe and quantum dynamics, though he never did received a Nobel Prize for his theories, since they were never verified by experiments received the more valuable Milner Prize worth several million pounds

Some of his achievements

The existence of black Holes was first predicted by Einstein and Oppenheimer at the atomic level, and Bomber, who worked on the idea, suggested that stars under their own gravity would collapse into a singularity with such enormous gravity that not even light escaped them, and Hawking changed that attitude : Black holes are not jus If he sucked destructively, he theorized with Roger Penrose that an exploding singularity created the universe. To crush all in a vanishingly small singularity is the opposite of the creation theory of the Big Bang, when everything explodes of singularity. He also referred to the theory about matter and anti matter which led him to suggest the radiation from the ridge called Hawking Radiation by a black must come hole. He wanted to find out what today's Theory of Everything is called, a simple, elegant formula or structure or frame that would explain everything, especially his astonishing theory involving the Great Cosmos and Gravity Infinitesimal Small Subatomic Particles

Hawking was the person who explained how a tremendous explosion from the uniqueness of a black hole collapsed about 15 billion years ago, the starting point of our universe, a singularity united in matter and energy to shape us life , Planets, solar systems, stars, galaxies …

On God

Stephen Hawking was the scientist whose lasting gift to humanity He combines the great theories of pioneers like Newton and Einstein. He actually came to the conclusion that God does not exist. "I believe that the simplest explanation is that there is no God, no one created the universe and no one directs our destiny, which leads me to a deep realization that there is probably no heaven and no life after death." We have this I appreciate the lives of the great design of the universe and I am extremely grateful for that. "

His words sparked much debate and debate since the mid-19th century dispute between divine creationism and Darwin's budding had really subsided science of evolution. The Genesis creation and the Flood narratives were then questioned and the situation was never really ironed out, so Stephen Hawking's claim that he came to the conclusion that "there is no god", which raised some eyebrows. But it seems to be calm and sharing this view, and confident in actually succumbing to the fact that during the one life we ​​have, it is enough to sit back and appreciate this grand design of the universe. Incidentally, this incidentally reminds of the predicament of a humble local priest, a great and brilliant poet, Dun Karm Psaila, and what he says in "Il-Jien u lil hinn minnu" as himself, to the existence of God. The poet simply decides not to worry, his faith is enough, his faith is enough to hear his mother's heartbeat, like a baby is enough, love should look it over. Only Stephen Hawking did not let go silently, he was more than any other grateful for a fruitful life.

Basically, the debate is still as human believes and as long as there faith it will go on and on, because nobody and nothing fear, curiosity, Imagination, fear, love, hate, gratitude, self-esteem, analysis, synthesis, and other attributes of humanity that make humanity take this tremendous step beyond other animals. After all, as Hawking himself once said, we are just a sophisticated monkey species on a small planet of an average star; only we can understand the universe, and apes can not do that. And that makes us so special.

He was aware that he still had to look at the stars, but at the same time he looked at his feet and was curious and asked questions – probably the same questions he asked himself. As a small boy, his mother would make him to lie down and look silently at the night sky, to ask only questions. And wondering about the stars.

The ashes of Stephen Hawking, in addition to the remains of Isaac Newton, J.J. Thompson, Ernest Rutherford and 17 British Monarchs in Westminster Abbey



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