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Big Picture Science

Stephen Hawk­ing felt gravity’s pull. His quest to under­stand this fee­ble force spanned his career, and he was the first to real­ize that black holes actu­al­ly dis­ap­pear – slow­ly los­ing the mass of every­thing they swal­low in a dull, evap­o­ra­tive glow called Hawk­ing radiation. 

But one of gravity’s deep­est puz­zles defied even his bril­liant mind. How can we con­nect the­o­ries of grav­i­ty on the large scale to what hap­pens on the very small? The The­o­ry of Every­thing remains one of the great chal­lenges to physicists.

Also, the lat­est on deci­pher­ing the weird­ness of black holes and why the grav­i­ta­tion­al wave detec­tor LIGO has added col­lid­ing neu­tron stars to its ros­ter of successes.

Plus, a fel­low physi­cist describes Dr. Hawking’s extra­or­di­nary deduc­tive abil­i­ties and what it was like to col­lab­o­rate with him. And, a sur­prise awaits Mol­ly when she meets a local string the­o­rist to dis­cuss his search for the The­o­ry of Everything.