Physics, Pi, and Poker: The Hawk’s Farewell Flight

Stephen “The Hawk” Hawking. (Image:Zero Gravity Corp)

March 14, 2018 – Stephen William Hawking, famed British cosmologist with an American accent, on this day peacefully transcended his mortal term. This bold move allows him to escape the limits of being human, thus enabling him to pursue more advanced and complicated cosmological research. Professor Hawking, whose works are primarily considered “theoretical”, made this drastic decision so that he could observe firsthand the phenomena explained by his theories. This he did by taking flight away from the earthly realm, leaving vacant his iconic techno-throne and other human implements.

Will he ever find proof for his Hawking radiations? No one knows. We’ll just have to wait until he publishes his next paper.

“Anyone, anywhere in the world should have free, unhindered access to not just my research, but to the research of every great and enquiring mind across the spectrum of human understanding.”

-Stephen Hawking

But don’t expect results from him anytime soon. Before embarking on anything science related, Professor Hawking was seen ringing Albert Einstein’s cosmic doorbell while wearing a party hat and holding a balloon. This comes as no surprise as the day of his leave, March 14, is also the day of Einstein’s birthday. While family, friends, and fans of the famed professor are in collective grief over his departure, Hawking is all smiles as he takes cheeky swipes off of Einstein’s birthday pi.

The festivities doesn’t end there. Another guest would soon join in.

After delighting in irrational pastry, Einstein and Hawking found themselves in a heated discussion over Hawking’s 1994 claim that, “Einstein was wrong when he said, ‘God does not play dice.'” This was of course in reference to Einstein’s famous contention against the idea of uncertainty brought about by the amazingly weird world of quantum mechanics. Feeling that he was unfairly taken out of context, because you know, everything is relative, Einstein suggested that they call an arbiter to act as jury and judge. Hawking agreed. Problem was, who could that person be? They deliberated for a while then finally decided that there could be no better pundit than God Himself. So they dialed Him up, and after a few rings, someone picked up the phone. Nope, it wasn’t God. It was God’s receptionist, presumably Saint Peter, judging by the sound of a rooster heard on the microwave background. Uhmm, He’s quite busy at the moment, why not call His son? the divine desk said. They were obviously disappointed but nonetheless accepted the suggestion. They knew the birthday of God’s son, so they sent a message to that visionary and revolutionary who was born on December 25. Later, the doorbell rang. Ding-dong! Einstein went to welcome the newly arrived guest.

It was Isaac Newton.

If we go by the axiom that an increase in amount is always beneficial, then we can really conclude that two heads are better than one. But that would also mean that three heads are better than two. It is thus reasonable to presume that the arrival of Newton would finally resolve the issue of Einstein and Hawking’s dogged discussion. Dubbed the Theoremvirate, much was expected from this clashing of minds by the three of the greatest theorists in physics. However, three heads gave way to hands, as they instead opted to play poker.

The Theoremvirate. It seems like they all had a good time.

We’ve yet to hear a word from the three if they’ve resolved anything at all. But we’ll leave that to them and to their own pace, as they seem to be enjoying each other’s company. After all, it took centuries for this monumental gathering to happen. It’s also a good thing that The Hawk completely demagnetized the internet so they could have better signal in space. Sooner or later one of them will have to take on Twitter. Until then we can only wait for an update. I mean, Newton was heard mentioning an (apocryphal) apple. Maybe they’re planning to make an apple pi? Yummy! That makes for a really good picture. Make sure to tune in on Einstagram!


(Disclaimer: The things that have been reported in this piece may not be 100% true. Let me explain. Firstly, this was simply my tribute to Stephen Hawking who died today. I am not a physicist, nor am I any good at doing physics work. What I can say is that reading his A Brief History of Time at around the age of 20 gave me a lasting impression of how bizarre and amazing the field of cosmology is all about. With that, let me advocate that book for wider readership, for I disagree with a lot of people who say that it is “difficult to read” and “hard to follow”. Professor Hawking’s book is actually a really good and accessible text. Secondly, I would like to render my regret at disagreeing with my friend’s rather insane plan to pay the good professor an unannounced visit when I was in Cambridge in 2014. I  will never come anywhere near that event horizon again [look at my pretentious use of physics words!]. Anyhow, this disclaimer has run long enough. Let’s take one last good look at the professor in all glory.)

Stephen William Hawking, pictured with Isaac Newton’s annotated copy of Principia Mathematica. (Image: Graham CopeKoga/ Cambridge University Library)

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