Collection: Hawkings Equation

A memorial to Professor Stephen Hawking, Fellow of Gonville & Caius College for over 50 years, has been laid outside the late scientist’s room in Caius Court.

The words ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet’ are engraved in the flagstone, along with Hawking’s famous equation of the entropy of a black hole. In June, the ashes of the late Professor Hawking were interred in Westminster Abbey following a public memorial service which celebrated his remarkable life.

It was Hawking’s wish to have his famous ‘Hawking Entropy’ equation engraved on his tombstone, much like Austrian physicist and philosopher Ludwig Boltzmann who did the same with his entropy equation, S = k log W. Professor Hawking’s memorial stone in Westminster, however, has on it the equation for the Hawking Temperature. After discussions with his colleagues in Cambridge, with whom he had worked closely, the correct equation is displayed on the new memorial stone in Gonville & Caius College.

The engraved stone was created by Lida L. C. Kindersley from the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop in Cambridge, from designs prepared by Master Professor Sir Alan Fersht, in collaboration with the College Council.

Sir Alan commented: ‘Caius has produced some of the most outstanding scholars and scientists in the world. Stephen Hawking has, uniquely, been elevated to the status of a National Treasure, whose mortal remains are interred between those of Newton and Darwin in Westminster Abbey, because of his combination of scientific excellence and his productive survival for more than 50 years despite the most debilitating of illnesses. This memorial not only celebrates his universal impact but his contribution to the College during his 52 years as a Fellow.’

The memorial was unveiled in a private ceremony for Fellows and guests in September.
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