It’s not every day that the world’s most famous living scientist stops by your workplace to have a look around. So we here at the Institute for Quantum Computing were delighted to host Dr. Stephen Hawking for a tour of our labs last summer.
The occasion served as a reunion for Hawking and IQC Director Raymond Laflamme, who was a doctoral student of Hawking’s in the 1980s. During that time, Laflamme proved Hawking wrong about what happens to the direction of time in a contracting universe (Hawking incorrectly believed that time shifts into reverse). Hawking, grateful for the correction, personalized Laflamme’s copy of A Brief History of Time by thanking him for proving that “the arrow of time is not a boomerang.”
So a boomerang seemed like the perfect memento for Laflamme to give Hawking as a memento of his visit to IQC last summer.
This video nicely conveys the spirit of the day: