On the Origin of Time
Science & Cocktails is proud to present an episode with cosmologist Thomas Hertog who is about to launch his new book “On the Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory”.
Perhaps the biggest question Stephen Hawking tried to answer in his extraordinary life was how the universe could have created conditions so perfectly hospitable to life.
Pondering this mystery led Hawking to study the big bang origin of the universe, but his early work ran into a crisis when the math predicted many big bangs producing many universes, most far too bizarre to harbour life.
Holed up in the theoretical physics department at Cambridge, Stephen Hawking and I worked shoulder to shoulder for twenty years, developing a new theory of the cosmos that could account for the emergence of life. Peering into the extreme quantum physics of cosmic holograms and venturing far back in time to our deepest roots, we were startled to find a deeper level of evolution in which the physical laws themselves transform until particles, forces, and even time itself fades away. Once upon a time, perhaps, there was no time?
On the Origin of Time takes you on a quest to understand questions bigger than our universe, and offers a bold and stimulating new take on its fundamentals.
This event is an initiative by the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP) with the support of NWA Route 2. Science & Cocktails Amsterdam is presented in cooperation with Paradiso Amsterdam.
Thomas Hertog is a Belgian cosmologist at KU Leuven university and a key collaborator of Professor Stephen Hawking. He received his master’s degree in physics from the KU Leuven and his doctorate from the University of Cambridge. He joined the University of California as a research fellow in 2002 and became fellow at CERN, Geneva, in 2005. In 2011 he returned to Belgium where he is currently professor at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the KU Leuven. Hertog is also guest professor at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, visiting senior fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and affiliate member of the International Solvay Institutes for Physics, Brussels.
At the KU Leuven Hertog leads a research team that investigates the physical nature of black holes and the big bang. In this context he has a longstanding interest in gravitational waves — ripples of spacetime once predicted by Einstein. Hertog leads Belgium’s participation in the European Space Agency’s first gravitational-wave mission and in Einstein Telescope, a future gravitational-wave observatory underground that may well be a game changer for Belgium.
He has recently wrote the book "On the Origin of Time" about his theory of the origin of the universe and his journey with Stephen Hawking.