Stephen Hawking's birthday package

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Stephen Hawking turned 70 in January 2012 and to celebrate, the University of Cambridge put on a scientific conference as well as a public symposium. Plus went along, of course, and here are the articles and podcasts we have produced from the conferences. Happy reading and listening!

A brief history of mine — This is an excerpt from Stephen Hawking's address to his 70th birthday symposium which took place on 8th January 2011 in Cambridge.

From planets to universes — This is an article version of the lecture given by Astronomer Royal Martin Rees at Stephen Hawking's birthday symposium. It comes in two parts, the first is here and the second here.

Happy birthday Stephen Hawking! — This is our brief report from Stephen Hawking's birthday symposium, which comes with a podcast featuring Martin Rees, some of Hawking's ex-students and his graduate assistant.

Supergravity to the rescue? — In the corner of the garden between the Centre of Mathematical Sciences and the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, sits a reminder of our ongoing quest to understand gravity: an apple tree that was taken as a cutting from the tree at Newton's birthplace, the tree that is said to have inspired his theory of gravity. Newton's theory was extended to the cosmological scales by Einstein's theory of general relativity – but can supergravity explain how gravity works in the quantum world? Find out in this interview with Renata Kallosh, which you can also hear as a podcast.

Bang, crunch, freeze and the multiverse — Some of the things we overheard at Stephen Hawking's 70th birthday conference did make us wonder whether I hadn't got the wrong building and stumbled in on a sci-fi convention. "The state of the multiverse". "The Universe is simple but strange". "The future for intelligent life is potentially infinite". And — excuse me — "the Big Bang was just the decay of our parent vacuum"?! You can also listen to the accompanying podcast.

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  • What do chocolate and mayonnaise have in common? It's maths! Find out how in this podcast featuring engineer Valerie Pinfield.

  • Is it possible to write unique music with the limited quantity of notes and chords available? We ask musician Oli Freke!

  • How can maths help to understand the Southern Ocean, a vital component of the Earth's climate system?

  • Was the mathematical modelling projecting the course of the pandemic too pessimistic, or were the projections justified? Matt Keeling tells our colleagues from SBIDER about the COVID models that fed into public policy.

  • PhD student Daniel Kreuter tells us about his work on the BloodCounts! project, which uses maths to make optimal use of the billions of blood tests performed every year around the globe.