I vaguely knew what a black hole was; a dense tiny ball of what I thought was anti-matter? It doesn’t seem terribly relevant because Dr. Mathur did an incredible job of breaking this incredibly difficult physics concept down to something that made sense to someone who has NEVER taken a physics class…
I found it really interesting that there was so much progress made on the topic of black holes by just one person. Though I did have a vague idea of what a black hole was, I had zero clue that this was the topic of Hawking’s research, and what presumably made him so famous. The man is more brilliant than I even thought – I was looking through the book he wrote with a colleague and my head hurt just looking at the calculations. It is so crazy to me that an actual human mind came up with this theory and had enough mathematical evidence to publish it. I imagine the feeling I had reading his book is comparable to the feeling that people had reading Newton’s book a couple centuries ago!
Another bit I found intriguing during Dr. Mathur’s talk was string theory. He briefly summed it up, but it kind of caught me off guard that he was teaching every bit of Hawking’s work and discussed how incredible it was that he had this breakthrough, but Dr. Mathur doesn’t believe it himself! How crazy is that? I found that maybe the emphasis was more on how genius Hawking truly was, not that scientists today are trying to prove him wrong.
I would love to visit the spot Hawking walked along on the river, maybe I can channel some of his genius for my midterm after break… (haha)