Professor Stephen Hawking - Black Holes

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The Reith Lectures20160126
The Reith Lectures20160126

Professor Stephen Hawking delivers the first of his BBC Reith Lectures on black holes.

Professor Stephen Hawking delivers the first of his two BBC Reith Lectures on black holes.

These collapsed stars challenge the very nature of space and time, as they contain a singularity - a phenomenon where the normal rules of the universe break down. They have held an enduring fascination for Professor Hawking throughout his life. Rather than see them as a scary, destructive and dark he says if properly understood, they could unlock the deepest secrets of the cosmos.

Professor Hawking describes the history of scientific thinking about black holes, and explains how they have posed tough challenges to conventional understanding of the laws which govern the universe.

The programmes are recorded in front of an audience of Radio 4 listeners and some of the country's leading scientists at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London.

Sue Lawley introduces the evening and chairs a question-and-answer session with Professor Hawking. Radio 4 listeners submitted questions in their hundreds, of which a selection were invited to attend the event to put their questions in person to Professor Hawking.

Producer: Jim Frank.

The Reith Lectures20160202

Professor Stephen Hawking delivers the second of his BBC Reith Lectures on black holes.

The Cambridge cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking delivers the second of his BBC Reith Lectures on black holes.

Professor Hawking examines scientific thinking about black holes and challenges the idea that all matter and information is destroyed irretrievably within them. He explains his own hypothesis that black holes may emit a form of radiation, now known as Hawking Radiation. He discusses the search for mini black holes, noting that so far "no-one has found any, which is a pity because if they had, I would have got a Nobel Prize." And he advances a theory that information may remain stored within black holes in a scrambled form.

The programmes are recorded in front of an audience of Radio 4 listeners and some of the country's leading scientists at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London.

Sue Lawley introduces the evening and chairs a question-and-answer session with Professor Hawking. Radio 4 listeners submitted questions in their hundreds, of which a selection were invited to attend the event to put their questions in person to Professor Hawking.

Producer: Jim Frank.