Public Talk in English

Why did Hawking Always Lose His Bets?

Many people know that Hawking was fond of betting, but for someone so smart, why did he always lose his bets? I am not a psychologist nor an expert in the gambling theory, so I cannot explain this fact scientifically. In this talk I can only analyze it from the angle of physics that I am more familiar with. To accomplish that, it is necessary to review Hawking's life and his numerous important contributions. Through that we may distil his scientific thoughts and his insistence on various issues. One important comment to emphasize here is that in the frontier of physics where experiments and observations are not yet able to prove or disprove a theory, debates or bets are often a powerful tool to clarify subtle physical concepts. There have been ample such debates in the history of science. Famous giants such as Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein all have involved in various debates. The DNA of Hawking's passion for betting can be traced back to such a long tradition. But why did he always lose? In this lecture we will try to answer that.

# Prof. Pisin Chen obtained his PhD from UCLA in theoretical particle physics. He was elected American Physical Society Fellow in 1994. He is two-time recipient of the Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition Awards (1995, 2001). He has published numerous papers on the nature of dark energy and dark matter. He joined NTU in 2007 and has since been the CC Leung Chair Professor of Cosmology and the director of the Leung Center for Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (LeCosPA).

With the support of Région Île-de-France: