Stephen Hawking’s mystery ready to be solved as Science Museum unveils legend’s blackboard

Stephen Hawking's predictions in 2010 on colonizing Mars

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For the first time since his death in 2018, fans of the renowned cosmologist will be able to get an up-close look at the inner workings of his mind, scribbled across his blackboard. The Cambridge cosmologist passed away at the age of 76, leaving behind a blackboard covered with doodles, equations and cartoons, that have left many experts scratching their heads.

These writings originated from a conference that he arranged in 1980.

The blackboard has now been put up for display at the Science Museum in London, as the organisers hope to decipher the mystery behind some of the contents that genius left behind.

Juan-Andres Leon, the curator of Stephen Hawking’s office, hopes that some of the surviving attendees of the conference on superspace and supergravity held more than 40 years ago would swing by and help explain what these sketches mean.

Alongside his mysterious blackboard, other items belonging to the departed scientists are also being put on display at the museum.

These include a rare copy of Mr Hawking’s 1966 PhD thesis, his wheelchair, and even a formal bet that information swallowed by a black hole is lost forever.

There’s also a wide range of celebrity memorabilia on show, including a personalised Simpsons jacket given to him by the creators of the show for his many guest appearances.

Mr Leon said: “People don’t have much of a glimpse into what everyday life was like for Stephen Hawking, and because he was a theoretical physicist, it’s hard to convey what he might do on a random Monday.”

“The office provides a lot of material and I think people knew that this was more than the collection of its parts, that it really reflects what made Stephen Hawking unique.”

The contents on display only comprise a fraction of the more than 700 items belonging to Mr Hawking that the Science Museum acquired.

The Guardian also reported Leon saying, “We didn’t want the display to be solemn, all heavy with trombones and swirling galaxies and things like that.

“We wanted it to be playful. He didn’t take things too seriously and I don’t think he’d have been such a celebrity if he didn’t have that spark of fun about him”.

Stephen Hawking was known for his theory of exploding black holes, which drew upon both relativity theory and quantum mechanics.

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He regularly studied space-time singularities and once predicted that humans would eventually spread out across the galaxy

However, he also warned: “We will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period.”

The display representing Stephen Hawking at Work will be in the Science Musuem exhibition till June 12 before being shifted to several stops including the Science and Industry Museum

in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and the National Railway Museum in York.

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