Hi Everyone

The next session will be 7 – Why does the universe exist? (43 minutes)
11.15 am Friday 17 March 
(See below for details in green text).

If you missed any of the earlier sessions click on the links in the red lines below.

David Robinson

Stephen Hawking has written, and participated in the production of, many documentaries that help explain the universe. This series of eight videos provides an insight into Stephen’s view of the universe and his answers to the big philosophical questions. After each video a discussion with participants will be led by course facilitator, David Robinson,  BSc (Hons) (Physics).

1 – Stephen Hawking A Personal Journey NOVA HD (55 minutes) 11.15 am Friday 3 February

An intimate and revealing story of Stephen Hawking’s life. Told for the first time in Hawking’s own words and with unique access to his home and public life, this is a personal journey through Hawking’s world.

See the video you may have missed


Stephen Hawking gives us the ultimate guide to the universe, a ripping yarn based on real science, spanning the whole of space and time – from the nature of the universe itself, to the chances of alien life, and the real possibility of time travel. It takes the world’s most famous scientific mind and sets it free, powered by the limitless possibilities of computer animation.

2 – Aliens (43 minutes) 11.15 am Friday 10 February

Hawking joins science and imagination to explore one of the most important mysteries facing humankind – the possibility of alien, intelligent life and the likelihood of future “contact.” Traveling from the moons of Jupiter to a galaxy maybe not so far, far away, he’ll introduce us to possible alien life forms – in stunning CGI – that face the same universal trials of adaptation and survival as the residents of Earth.

See the video you may have missed

3 – Time Travel (43 minutes) 11.15 am Friday 17 February

The promise of time travel has long been one of the world’s favourite scientific “what-ifs?” Hawking explores all the possibilities, warping the very fabric of time and space as he goes. From killing your grandfather to riding a black hole, we learn the pitfalls and the prospects for a technology that could quite literally, change everything.

See the video you may have missed

4 – The Story of Everything – Part 1 (43 minutes) 11.15 am Friday 24 February

5 – The Story of Everything – Part 2 (43 minutes) 11.15 am Friday 3 March

See the video you may have missed

Another version of “The Theory of Everything” can be seen here
If you can endure the American “razamatazy”, “snake oil salesman” narration and fast visuals it is really very good.

In this two part episode, Hawking reveals the wonders of the cosmos to a new generation. Delve into the mind of the world’s most famous living scientist and reveal the splendour and majesty of the universe as never seen before. See how the universe began, how it creates stars, black holes and life — and how everything will end.


‘Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design’ attempts to unravel the truths behind humanity’s most enduring questions. Unfolding his personal, compelling vision of the universe, the eminent British cosmologist evaluates a variety of intricate ideas, from ‘Intelligent Design’ to the impact the search for the Higgs Boson particle at CERN could have on our understanding of the cosmos. Drawing on more than 40 years of his own research and a recent series of observations and theoretical breakthroughs, Hawking presents his original and controversial theories, applying current scientific understanding to these complex concepts. Combining cutting edge visuals with this witty and incisive world view discover how physics and cosmology are being used to tackle ideas that philosophers have struggled with for thousands of years

6 – Did God Create the Universe? (43 minutes) 11.15 am Friday 10 March

Professor Stephen Hawking unfolds his personal, compelling vision of the biggest question of all: Is there a god who created and controls the universe in which we live? To answer this controversial and age old question, Hawking takes us on a journey through humanity’s history of appraising our place in the Universe – from Vikings facing down eclipses to the laws of modern cosmology. Using the laws of physics, Hawking argues that the universe can pop into being from absolutely nothing, that there was no time before the creation of the universe and therefore, no room for a Grand Designer.

See the video you may have missed

7 – Why does the universe exist? (43 minutes) 11.15 am Friday 17 March

Hawking poses the ultimate of ultimate questions: Why does the universe exist and why does it follow rules and laws? What’s the point of the enormous, endless cosmos, and why is it so perfectly tuned so as to allow life to exist? Get ready for a brain-expanding journey – from Newton’s ground breaking discovery of gravity, through hidden extra dimensions to a multi-verse of billions more universes where anything and everything is possible. This is Hawking’s legacy, a profound, beautiful and exciting story that will reveal the ultimate theory of physics, changing the way you think about the cosmos forever

8 – What is the meaning of life? (43 minutes) 11.15 am Friday 24 March

Hawking tackles the ultimate question: Is there a meaning to our lives? Is there a purpose to our existence? This used to be the realm of religion or philosophy – not science. But Hawking believes philosophy is dead and that science holds the key. So what can the laws of physics tell us about who and what we humans really are? Do we have free will or are we just complex biological machines working to the laws of nature? From Descartes to the latest advances in quantum physics, Hawking explores this fascinating territory with his famous fearless zeal as he questions the very nature of reality itself. You will never look at yourself the same way again.

9 – The Ninth Session will be a surprise. 11.15 am Friday 31 March

My thinking is that something will come up in the course of these sessions that will need answering in more than a few sentences. Whatever it is will be the subject of the last session.