214 research outputs found

    Stephen Hawking (1942-2018), Towards a Complete Understanding of the Universe

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    Two of the major achievements of Stephen Hawking are described in elementary terms. They are his work on the beginning of the universe and his work on the end of black holes. These are perhaps the scientific achievements for which he is best known. Some of the qualities that enabled his great achievements are also described. The article is a slightly edited version of one solicited by the Proceedings of the (US) National Academy of Sciences for their Retrospectives section and will appear there.Comment: 4 page

    Quantum Pasts and the Utility of History

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    From data in the present we can predict the future and retrodict the past. These predictions and retrodictions are for histories -- most simply time sequences of events. Quantum mechanics gives probabilities for individual histories in a decoherent set of alternative histories. This paper discusses several issues connected with the distinction between prediction and retrodiction in quantum cosmology: the difference between classical and quantum retrodiction, the permanence of the past, why we predict the future but remember the past, the nature and utility of reconstructing the past(s), and information theoretic measures of the utility of history. (Talk presented at the Nobel Symposium: Modern Studies of Basic Quantum Concepts and Phenomena, Gimo, Sweden, June 13-17, 1997)Comment: 22pages, uses REVTEX 3.
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