A special new display at the Science and Industry Museum offers a fascinating insight into the working life and personality of undoubtedly the most famous theoretical physicist of all time.

Stephen Hawking at Work gives visitors the chance to explore incredible personal objects from Hawking’s office — pieces that were specially acquired for the nation by the Science Museum Group in May 2021.

Highlights of the display include a rare copy of Hawking’s PhD thesis, one of only five known copies in existence, his spectacles, which were specially adapted to aid communication, and even an invitation to the time travellers’ party that Hawking hosted.

The temporary display, which will be open until February 2024, also delves into Hawking’s ties with Manchester. For instance, as curator Juan-Adres Leon highlights, how Jodrell Bank played a key role in reinforcing Hawking’s Big Bang theory.

“In the 1950s, at Jodrell Bank, astronomers started to discover objects that were much further away than anything seen before, billions of lightyears away from Earth. They noticed that these objects were unlike anything that existed closer to us, and that indicated that the universe had been different in the past from what it is today. This meant that the Big Bang was a more likely explanation of the universe.”

Other objects include slightly more surprising mementoes from Hawking’s public and celebrity appearances, including a jacket gifted to him by the creators of The Simpsons and a cast photo from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Stephen Hawking at Work is free to visit and open now until September 2025, housed in the Science and Industry Museum’s Revolution Manchester Gallery. For more information, head over to the museum’s website.

Featured image credit: Sarah Lee

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Science and Industry Museum,
Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Mon 5 Jun 2023