Who would have thought that one day blackboard filled with doodles would be exhibited in a museum? Written more than 35 years ago, the inscriptions mentioned out of order on the board have even become a subject of research! Scientists are interested in them for a good reason: these writings are those of a legendary physicist and are full of mysteries.
A great pioneer of science, stephen hawking, is the one who wrote on this board. A student of cosmology at the University of Cambridge in 1963, he was stricken with motor neurone disease. He was only two years older on his clock, but he continued to live. He has published pioneering works on the Big Bang theory, black holes and general relativity.
When Mr Hawking joined his fellow physicists, they used a blackboard as a distraction or a rough draft. As a result, an almost incomprehensible hodgepodge lay on the board, the meaning of which is sought today by leading experts.
Scribbles that are full of secrets?
The blackboard filled with scribbles dates from 1980. It was during this same year that Hawking and his colleagues came together. They tried to develop a cosmological “theory of everything”. This theory is a set of equations combining rules of general relativity and quantum mechanics.
This explains even more the interest of scientists for these writings. Complex puns, jokes, scribbles, coded messages and unfinished equations made up the mishmash on the board. Terms such as, “Exxon Supergravity”, “symmetry of stupor”, misunderstood drawings and many other tracks arouse a lot of curiosity. Stephen Hawking died in 2018, but the painting has been carefully preserved for 35 years.
An exhibition at the museum to decipher it
A new exhibition on Hawking’s office has been running in London since February 10, at Science Museum. Dozens of objects, including a copy of the physicist’s doctoral thesis and his wheelchair, will be on display there until June 12. The well-preserved blackboard is the centerpiece of this exhibition.
From physicists around the world and friends of Hawking will gather at this exhibition. They will be there to try to decipher the handmade scribbles and discover the hidden secrets. Hopefully the great minds in math and physics will manage to solve these mysteries. Several other museums are planned to host this exhibition after this first one.