Stephen Hawking taught us many things about the universe but also life itself. Here are some of the wisest lessons we have learned from him:
1. The past is just a probability
In accordance with Stephen Hawking, one of the consequences of the theory of quantum mechanics is that the events in the past did not occur in a particular way. Instead, they occurred in all possible ways. This has to do with the probabilistic nature of matter and energy as stated by quantum mechanics: as long as there is no outside observer, everything is uncertain.
As Hawking said, “no matter what kind of memories of the past you keep in the present, the past, as well as the future, is uncertain and exists as a range of possibilities.“
2. General relativity is linked to errors of navigation systems
General relativity postulates that the
“gravitational effects do not occur due to the force interaction of bodies and fields located in space-time but due to the deformation of space-time that is related to the presence of mass-energy.”
Stephen Hawking argues that
“If general relativity is not taken into account in the GPS – navigation satellite systems, the errors in determining the global position will gather at a speed of about 10 km per day. The closer an object is to the earth, the slower time passes.
Thus, depending on the distance between the satellites and the Earth, their onboard clock will operate at different speeds. This difference could be compensated automatically if this effect was taken into account.”
3. “We live in an aquarium”
“Imagine yourself a fish living in a round aquarium. What would you know about the world if during the whole life you looked at it through the distortion of the glass without being able to get out?
It is impossible to know the true nature of reality: despite we believe that we have a clear vision of the world, metaphorically speaking, we are doomed to spend life in an aquarium, as the possibilities of our body do not let us out of it,” says Hawking.
Impressed by this metaphor, the authorities of Monza, Italy, banned keeping fish in a fishbowl so that the distortion of light does not prevent them perceive the world as it is.
4. Quarks are never alone
Quarks, the “building blocks” of protons and neutrons, exist only in groups and never separately. The force that pulls quarks together increases with the distance between them, so that if you try to pull one quark from another, then the more you pull, the more it will try to escape and get back. Free quarks do not occur in nature.
5. The universe created itself
Stephen Hawking is an atheist. He devoted much time to find the scientific evidence that no God is needed for the existence of life. One of his famous sayings is:
“Since there is such a force as gravity, the Universe can and did create itself from nothing. The reason why the universe exists and why we exist is a spontaneous creation. There is no need for God to “ignite” the fire and make the universe work.”
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