The Occurrences of Singularities in Cosmology.

"With love, Stephen": Extraordinarily rare presentation copy of Stephen Hawking's The Occurrences of Singularities in Cosmology; warmly inscribed by him

The Occurrences of Singularities in Cosmology.

HAWKING, Stephen.

Item Number: 119730

Cambridge: University Printing House, 1966.

Extraordinarily rare presentation copy of one of Hawking’s most important papers, one of a very small number of his works that he signed before his worsening motor neuron disease made it impossible for him to sign. Octavo, four pages, signed by Stephen Hawking in the upper left corner, “With love, Stephen.” The occurrence of singularities in cosmology was the second paper Hawking published on the occurrences of singularities, or black holes, following the submission of his PhD thesis, Properties of Expanding Universes, in which he examined the implications and consequences of the expansion of the universe. In the final chapter of his thesis, Hawking concluded, “It is shown that a singularity is inevitable provided that certain very general conditions are satisfied.” This conclusion established the trajectory of his future work, as well as his style of combining popularizing flair with a willingness to challenge received wisdom. Hawking published the present paper in 1966 during his research fellowship at Gonville and Caius in addition to his extended essay Singularities and the geometry of space-time which would win the Adams Prize, one of the University of Cambridge’s most prestigious awards, and contained his assessment: “Undoubtedly, the most important results are the theorems in Chapter 5 on the occurrence of singularities. These seem to imply either that the General Theory of Relativity breaks down or that there could be particles whose histories did not exist before (or after) a certain time. The author’s own opinion is that the theory probably does break down but only when quantum gravitational effects become important.” In very good condition with light staining to the lower portion of the paper. From the personal collection of Stephen Hawking.

By the late 1970s, English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking's theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation, was widely accepted as a significant breakthrough in theoretical physics. A vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics and achieved commercial success with several works of popular science in which he discussed his theories and cosmology in general. Hawking was diagnosed with a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neuron disease (MND, or Lou Gehrig's disease) in 1963 at the age of 21, yet his fierce independence and unwillingness to make concessions for his disabilities allowed him to continue his work, even as his motor functions and ability to speak deteriorated. In 1986, Walter Woltosz, CEO of Words Plus, gifted Hawking with a computer program called the "Equalizer", which allowed him to communicate with select phrases from a bank of about 2,500–3,000 letters.

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