Public Release: 

Prof. Stephen Hawking to visit Perimeter Institute and provide TV lecture across Canada

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, February 5, 2010 - Dr. Neil Turok, Director of Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI), is pleased to announce that Prof. Stephen Hawking will visit the institute in Waterloo, Ontario, this summer to conduct scientific research and participate in a televised outreach event.

The world's most famous living physicist, Prof. Hawking has made several path-breaking contributions to theoretical physics. His visit to Waterloo in June and July of 2010 will mainly focus on scientific research and private collaborations with other leading physicists at PI. Prof. Hawking will also take part in the institute's award-winning outreach program by delivering a special lecture to be broadcast on TVO across Canada.

PI Director Neil Turok, a colleague of Prof. Hawking, said, "We hope Stephen's visit to Perimeter will be just the first of many. His ideas have had a huge impact on our basic understanding of the universe. He is an exceptional communicator, whether to other scientists or to the wider public. We are delighted he has agreed to deliver a televised lecture, to be shown across Canada. And we are looking forward to his impressions of the "Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute" now under construction."

This past October, when the expansion to the facility was named in his honour, Professor Hawking said, "Our field of theoretical physics has been the most successful and cost-effective in all of science. Where would we be today without Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein? Many great challenges lie ahead. Where this new understanding will lead, is impossible to say for sure. What we can say with confidence, is that expanding the Perimeter of our knowledge will be the key to our future."

Professor Hawking and Perimeter Institute

Although this will be Prof. Hawking's first visit to PI, he already has many connections to the institute.

Prof. Hawking holds a Distinguished Research Chair at PI, which will see him regularly visit for extended periods to conduct scientific research, starting this June and July. He is also a Patron of the innovative Perimeter Scholars International, a Masters program that nurtures future physics researchers, and will oversee a graduation ceremony for the first class of PSI scholars when he visits. Prof. Hawking was also Honorary President of the recent Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future Festival, celebrating the 10th anniversary of PI, took part via video in the presentation Perimeter Institute - Past, Present & Future, and appears in PI's award-winning television documentary, The Quantum Tamers: Revealing our Weird and Wired Future, which will be rebroadcast on TVO on Tuesday, February 16th at 10:00 pm EST and on Wednesday, February 17th at 1:00 am EST.

Special Televised Lecture on TVO

A special PI presentation with Prof. Hawking from Waterloo, Ontario, will be broadcast on TVO on Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 8pm EDT. The TVO signal can be found across Canada on Bell TV channel 265 or Shaw Direct/Star Choice channel 353. You will also find TVO on channel 2 via cable or over-the-air in most areas of Ontario (check local listings). TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens through educational media.

"Something TVO does really well is to bring big ideas and bright minds into homes across Canada," says Lisa de Wilde, TVO's Chief Executive Officer. "And they don't come any bigger or brighter than Professor Hawking's." Adds de Wilde, "TVO is delighted to once again join forces with Canada's Perimeter Institute to support scientific literacy. We couldn't ask for a more powerful follow-up to last year's collaboration on the Quantum to Cosmos Festival."

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About Prof. Hawking

Prof. Stephen Hawking has made several extraordinary contributions to fundamental theoretical physics, especially in establishing the classical and quantum properties of black holes and in building quantum gravitational theories of the origin of the universe and structures within it. His most celebrated work was the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, known as Hawking radiation. In keeping with university policy, Prof. Hawking retired as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University in 2009, the year he turned 67. He has authored many popular books, from A Brief History of Time (1988) to George's Secret Key to the Universe (2007). Additional information regarding Prof. Hawking can be found here on PI's website.

About Perimeter Institute

Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is an independent, non-profit, scientific research and educational outreach organization where international scientists cluster to push the limits of our understanding of physical laws and develop new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter and information. The centre provides a multi-disciplinary environment to foster scientific collaboration in research areas of cosmology, particle physics, quantum foundations, quantum gravity, quantum information, superstring theory, and related disciplines. PI also provides a wide array of award-winning outreach programs for students, teachers and the general public across Canada in order to share the joy of research, discovery and innovation. In partnership with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, PI continues to be a successful example of private and public collaboration in science research and education. www.perimeterinstitute.ca

Media contact: Angela Robinson, arobinson@perimeterinstitute.ca.

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