Current schedule

10:00 am, Registration: Morning Tea & Coffee

11:00 am, Introductory remarks

11:10 am, Sir Martin Rees: `Our Complex Cosmos and Its Future'

11:50 am, Professor Jim Hartle: `Theories of Everything and Hawking's Wave Function of the Universe'

12:30 pm, Lunch at Churchill College, courtesy of SGI

2:30 pm, Sir Roger Penrose: `The Problem of Space-Time Singularities: Implications for Quantum Gravity?'

3:10 pm, Professor Kip Thorne: `Warping spacetime'

3:50 pm, Afternoon tea

4:30 pm, Professor Stephen Hawking, `60 years in a nutshell'

5:10 pm, Finish

Brief speaker biographies

Professor Sir Martin Rees

Sir Martin Rees was a student of the late Dennis Sciama who also supervised Stephen Hawking. He is currently Astronomer Royal and holds a Royal Society Research Professorship at the University of Cambridge where he has spent most of his career. Martin has received many honours for his contributions to relativistic astrophysics, black holes and cosmology. One of his most noted achievements was his realization that the power house of quasars is a massive rotating black hole accreting dust and gas and emitting enormous collimated radio beams stretching across the sky. In addition to his technical scientific work, Martin is well known as a popularizer of science, especially astronomy, and he has been very active in the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the author of a number of popular books on science including most recently, Our Cosmic Habitat and Just Six Numbers.

Professor James Hartle

Jim Hartle was educated at Princeton University and the California Institute of Technology where he completed a Ph.D. in 1964. He is currently Professor of Physics at the University of California Santa Barbara. His scientific work is concerned with the application of Einstein's relativistic theory of gravitation - general relativity - to realistic astrophysical situations, especially cosmology. He has made important contributions to the understanding of gravitational waves, relativistic stars, and black holes. He is currently interested in the earliest moments of the big bang where the subjects of quantum mechanics, quantum gravity, and cosmology overlap. He has visited Cambridge often since 1971 and he has collaborated closely with Stephen Hawking over many years, most notably on their famous "no boundary proposal" for the origin of the universe. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a past director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara.

Professor Sir Roger Penrose

Sir Roger Penrose was a student of the distinguished Cambridge geometer William Hodge. Roger has become perhaps the most widely recognized mathematician among the general public. His popular books, describing his unique view point and insights on the relationship of mathematics to physics, and indeed the structure of thought itself have received worldwide attention, most notably The Emperor's New Mind. Recently retired from the Rouse Ball Chair of Mathematics at Oxford University his professional work has varied from seminal contributions to our understanding of the global structure of spacetime which underpin our current view of black holes and the Big Bang. For many years he has been developing the Twistor approach to the quantization of gravity. More recently he has been concerned with relationship between the brain and quantum mechanics and gravity. His extraordinary geometrical imagination has lead to numerous other discoveries including (with his geneticist father) impossible figures and quasi-crystals, novel materials that defy the conventional rules of crystallography.

Professor Kip Thorne

Kip Thorne was a student of the renowned Princeton physicist John Wheeler. He has worked for most of his professional career at Caltech where he heads one of the world's leading groups working on relativistic astrophysics. Kip and fellow Wheeler student Charles Misner are the authors of the extremely influential textbook Gravitation which has become the bible of those wanting to learn and apply general relativity to astrophysics. Kip's research has covered almost all aspects of the subject from the accretion discs around black holes to the X-rays they emit. He has for many years been a forceful and effective advocate of LIGO, the project to detect gravitational radiation using large-scale laser interferometers. Apart from technical papers and books Kip has written a highly successful popular book, Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy.