“We are very small, but we are profoundly capable of doing great things … Human effort has no limits.” This is one of the phrases with which today is commemorated what would have been the 80th birthday of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, an anniversary that has led Google to rescue his voice to launch a message of hope. “Be brave, curious and determined,” claims the scientist’s speech. It is not the first time that the computerized voice of Hawking, affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) since the age of 21, has served as a message to humanity. A sound file with words of peace was emitted by the antenna of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Cebreros, (Ávila) during Hawking’s burial on June 15, 2018. The emission is directed to the black hole closest to Earth , 1A 0620-00.
The speech created by google, of two and a half minutes, includes a narration in the scientist’s own voice generated by computer with the permission of his heirs. In this audio file, accompanied by an animation and broadcast as doodle (Override of search engine logo on homepage to celebrate anniversary), Hawking claims that his degenerative condition, far from being a limitation, was an impulse. ALS is a disease of the neural system that controls voluntary movement. Despite limiting him even to speak, for which the scientist used a computer, Hawking emphasizes that, at all times, in his thought, he was free: “I have spent my life traveling through the universe within my mind.”
The scientist’s speech, which culminates in an invitation to courage, curiosity and determination, insists on his theory that “one of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect.”
The message created with the voice of Hawking and with music by the Greek composer Vangelis, famous for being the author of the film’s soundtrack, is directed to one of the points of this imperfect universe. Fire cars. The audio file, broadcast from the ESA antenna in Ávila in 2018, after the death of the 76-year-old scientist, took 30 minutes to transmit and goes to the black hole closest to Earth. However, this proximity is relative, since it is 3,000 light years from our planet.
Hawking has gone down in history for his work on black holes and for trying to unify the two great theories of 20th century physics, that of relativity and that of quantum mechanics. Also for the popular informative titles of which he was the author, among them Brief history of time, from the Big Bang to black holes, published in 1988 and become the best-selling science book in history.
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