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Stephen Hawking asks big questions about the universe

Issuing an insurance policy against abduction by aliens seems a pretty safe bet. — Stephen Hawking

Synopsis

How did the universe begin? How did life begin? Are we alone? These and other burning issues are explored by Professor Hawking, as well as discussing how we might go about answering them. Talk recorded 27 February 2008.

About the Speaker

Stephen Hawking is perhaps the world's most famous living physicist. A specialist in cosmology and quantum gravity and a devotee of black holes, his work has probed the origins of the cosmos, the nature of time and the universe's ultimate fate -- earning him accolades including induction into the Order of the British Empire. To the public, he's best known as an author of bestsellers such as The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time, which have brought an appreciation of theoretical physics to millions.

Though the motor neuron disorder ALS has confined Hawking to a wheelchair, it hasn't stopped him from lecturing widely, making appearances on television shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Simpsons -- and planning a trip into orbit with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. Hawking serves as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, where he continues to contribute to both high-level physics and the popular understanding of our universe.

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