Even after death, Stephen Hawking stirs up a fuss

Stephen Hawking
Physicist Stephen Hawking visited the Large Hadron Collider’s underground tunnel in 2013. (CERN Photo / Laurent Egli)

The ashes of the late British physicist Stephen Hawking will get a fitting resting place in Westminster Abbey, near the graves of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

But you could argue that the true monuments to Hawking’s memory are his books and theoretical papers, delving into the nature of black holes, the big bang and other cosmic mysteries. And as was often the case during his life, the last paper he completed is stirring up a fuss just days after his death.

Hawking’s so-called “Final Theory” is a paper written with Belgian collaborator Thomas Hertog, and titled “A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation?” It hasn’t yet been published in a journal, but it’s said to be under review and is available for inspection on the ArXiv pre-print server.

The paper focuses on hypotheses having to do with cosmic inflation and the idea that our own cosmos is just one of many universes in a multiverse.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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