Peninsula Astronomical Society: Celebrating Stephen Hawking: How Black Holes are Not Quite Black

Public talks

Tags: Astronomy, Outreach, Physics

Time: Friday, Oct 12, 2018 -

Location: Los Altos Hills, CA Foothill College

Scientists and science enthusiasts are mourning the passing of Stephen Hawking, one of the great minds and spirits of our time. In this introductory, non-technical talk, Andrew Fraknoi will briefly summarize Hawking’s life and talk about the importance of his scientific work. He’ll focus particularly on Hawking’s work in merging the world of the big and heavy (described by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity) with the world of the small and light (described by quantum mechanics). He’ll describe how this merger led to the idea of mini black holes, “Hawking Radiation,” and the bizarre notion that black holes don’t have to be fully black. No background in science or math will be required, but be prepared to have your mind boggled.

Andrew Fraknoi, who serves on the SETI Institute Board of Trustees, retired from Foothill College in 2017. He still teaches occasional non-credit astronomy classes through the University of San Francisco Fromm Institute and San Francisco State’s OLLI program. Fraknoi was named Professor of the Year for the State of California in 2007 and still appears from time to time on the radio, explaining astronomy in everyday language. He is the lead author of a new, free, open-source introductory astronomy textbook, published by OpenStax, and has written two children’s books on astronomy. Asteroid 4859 has been named Asteroid Fraknoi to honor his contributions to the public understanding of science.

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