Harder to Score Than Beyonce Tickets: How You Could Attend Stephen Hawking's Historic Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 - 12:31PM
Astrophysics
Wednesday, 09 May 2018 - 12:31PM
Harder to Score Than Beyonce Tickets: How You Could Attend Stephen Hawking's Historic Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey
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Cosmologist Stephen Hawking's ashes are being interred between two of the biggest names in modern history: Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Some people think getting your picture on the wall at Sardi's is a big deal. Others think you earn your place in history when you get your own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

...Yeah, we think Stephen Hawking wins this round.

In yet another example of the celebrated physicist's posthumous generosity, the Stephen Hawking Foundation is making 1,000 tickets to the Westminster Abbey service available to the public. According to Elizabeth Forrester – the executive director of the foundation – they received over 5,000 applications in just the first ten hours of coming online.

The lucky 1,000 will be chosen at random from the pool of applicants, so mourning astrophysicists and grieving geeks definitely have a chance. The June service at Westminster will be a thanksgiving celebration of "the life and work" of Hawking, and we can only speculate which living luminaries might make an appearance.

Westminster Abbey is home to memorials for a number of other major scientists, including Michael Farraday and Edmond Halley – not to mention historic names like Geoffrey Chaucer, Jane Austen, and Sir Winston Churchill. Though not all their (physical) remains are held at Westminster, the Abbey and its grounds have become a gallery of whos-who in British history. Likewise, Hawking's service on June 15th is billed as "A Moment in History."

Hawking is best known for his research surrounding the black holes, including the crucial link between a black hole's nature and the behavior of the universe: Hawking observed that black holes, like entropy, only seem able to grow. This ended up becoming a real-life example of general relativity and quantum theory syncing up, despite the fact that general relativity usually "breaks down" when applied to very small particles.

If you want to apply for a ticket to the service, you can fill in your information here. Good luck!

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