You might think you know a heck of a lot about the late, great physicist and genius Professor Stephen Hawking, but the man will come back to life in a new exhibition at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum.
From 25th May, visitors to the Science and Industry Museum will be able to view the new Stephen Hawking at Work exhibition, exploring the remarkable life of the world-renowned theoretical physicist through significant objects from his office.
This extraordinary display will provide insights into Hawking’s remarkable life as a scientist, science communicator, and person who lived with motor neurone disease.
The most significant objects on display will include a rare copy of Hawking’s PhD thesis, a wager he made with his peers on whether what falls into a black hole is forever lost to our universe, and an invitation to a party for time travellers that Hawking hosted – naturally, he sent the invitation after the party had taken place, using the lack of guests to prove that time travel to the past is impossible.
These important items provide insights into a scientist who challenged perceptions of theoretical physics with a playful, imaginative and social approach to work.
The display will also include details of how Hawking’s work connects to Manchester, as discoveries by scientists in the city cleared the path to develop two of the most important ideas about our universe: quantum theory and general relativity.
The Science Museum Group acquired the contents of Professor Hawking’s office in May 2021 and now audiences from across the country are being given the opportunity to see a selection of these fascinating objects up close.
Stephen Hawking at Work also explores Hawking’s experience of motor neurone disease – he was initially given a two-year prognosis when diagnosed but lived with the disease for more than five decades. From the late 1960s he used a wheelchair and from 1986 Hawking used a voice synthesiser after an emergency tracheotomy meant he could no longer speak. Examples of both innovative technologies will be on display as part of Stephen Hawking at Work.
This exhibition is not to be missed for those curious about science in general, but also to gain more of n understanding of the man behind the theories. The objects displayed will be extremely personal, from which we can gather a sense of what Stephen Hawking was like as a person, and how he liked to work.
The exhibition will be open from 25th May, and you can keep up to date with dates and times of the exhibition on the website.