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"Perspectives on the Origin of the Universe" Lecture Series
Date : 24 May 2006 - 13 Jun 2006
Summary Details

In order to enrich the general public's knowledge about the universe prior to Prof Hawking's historic visit, UST organized six lectures on the origins of the universe that were held in May and early June.

Speakers included a Nobel Prize winner, prominent physics scholars and mathematicians from UST, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and overseas institutions.

Prof Bei-Lok Hu from the University of Maryland kicked off proceedings with a study of the relationship between quantum gravity and the origin of the universe. His lecture was followed by Prof Robert B Laughlin, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics, who explored the possibility that Einstein's predictions about black holes eating all light and matter are false.

UST physics scholars, Dr Michael Kwok-Yee Wong and Dr Tian-Wen Chen, targeted secondary students and a general audience with their introduction to the work of Prof Hawking, including explanations of black holes and space-time.

Physics lovers grasped a rare opportunity to raise questions on various aspects of the universe with the prominent mathematician Prof Shing-Tung Yau after his presentation, which described the geometrical structure of space-time that has evolved from current work on string theory and cosmology.

The series was wrapped up by Prof Sze-Hoi Henry Tye from the Department of Physics at Cornell University, who applied string theory to explain the origin and structure of universe. "String theory is considered one of the most plausible candidates for the theory of everything and is one of the most mathematically exquisite theories ever developed by mankind," he said.