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Astronomy Lecture Series Kicks Off 10th Year with The Black Hole Wars: My Battle with Stephen Hawking
October 01, 2008
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Archive Story
As part of the 10th annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, Stanford University physicist Leonard Susskind will present The Black Hole Wars: My Battle with Stephen Hawking, an illustrated, non-technical lecture, Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. Admission is free and the public is invited. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to locate parking. Black holes, the collapsed remnants of the largest stars, provide a remarkable laboratory where the frontier concepts of our understanding of nature are tested at their extreme limits. For more than two decades, Professor Susskind and a Dutch colleague have had a running battle with Stephen Hawking of Cambridge University about the implications of black hole theory for our understanding of reality--a battle that he has described in his well-reviewed book, The Black Hole Wars. In this popular talk, without mathematics, Dr. Susskind tells the story of these wars, explains the ideas that underlie the conflict, and recounts how he got Hawking to retract some of his claims. What's at stake is nothing less than our understanding of space, time, matter and information! Susskind is the Felix Bloch Professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University and the author of two popular books and many articles on recent developments in science and their meaning. He teaches a popular continuing studies course at Stanford on modern physics and has won the American Institute of Physics science writing prize for an article explaining black holes. His research focuses on particle physics, quantum theory, and the nature of gravity. He has a rare knack for explaining the most advanced scientific ideas in everyday terms. The free lecture series is sponsored by the Foothill College Astronomy Program, NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute and Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Past lectures from the series are available online in MP3-format at This talk kicks off the 2008-2009 series of Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures. One unit of college credit is available from Foothill College for students who enroll in the ASTR 36 course, attend all six Wednesday evening lectures and write a short paper on an astronomy topic of their choice. To register in advance for this one-unit course, access or arrive early for the Oct. 1 lecture to obtain registration materials. California residents pay $13 per unit of credit at Foothill. Foothill College is located on El Monte Road off I-280 in Los Altos Hills. Visitors must purchase a campus parking permit for $2. Parking lots 1, 7 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. For more information, access or call (650) 949-7888.
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