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Students Learn About Quantum Black Holes From Stephen Hawking

On the 27th of October, the famous physicist and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking visited Oxford to honor the Oxford Mathematical Institute’s invitation to open a series of talks in honor of his outstanding work.

Along with our Mathematics teacher, Richard, we had the amazing opportunity of attending this enlightening conference entitled “Quantum Black Holes.” Professor Hawking talked about the formation and properties of black holes, which naturally amazed us not only for the interesting topic, of which we hear very little as high school students, but also for the clarity and coherency of the speech.

“I had known about black holes before, but I could never tell what’s going on there. It was always a big mystery. Attending this lecture, I have managed to understand their amazing and curious properties as well as the huge limitation humans live in (for now) in order to understanding them fully. This field has triggered my interest for this field and I am looking forward to reading Stephen Hawking’s famous A Brief History of Time in search for a more in-depth knowledge of this subject.” Iulia Bock, IB Year 2 Student from Romania said.

“I have never experienced a moment in my life where I felt so much respect towards one person in a room. Everyone went just quiet and all of us in the room were nervously waiting for him to start.

For me, as a philosophy student, there was a moment during the lecture where the things he said about black holes, just made me doubt everything. At the moment, I am writing an essay in philosophy on freedom and determinism. I never imagined that determinism could ever have something to do with black holes! But in the lecture, Stephen Hawking just mentioned how the whole idea of determinism – the idea that events in the universe have a cause and are fully governed by the laws of nature – does not occur. That was probably the most mind blowing moment of my life!

It is amazing how adding one more piece to our knowledge can create a whole new big picture. I will never forget the day I saw the famous Stephen Hawking, talking about black holes and that absolutely inspiring feeling I had when he entered the room.” Johanna Rosenberger, IB Year 2 Student from Germany.

… and about prime numbers!

Last Wednesday, we went on an exciting trip to Oxford University’s Mathematical Institute in the heart of the city. While the walk might have been long, the buildings and beautiful architecture alone made it worth it. Once we got there, there was already a crowd waiting inside for the public lecture that was about to be presented by Dr. Vicky Neale, Whitehead Lecturer and Fellow of Balliol College. After only 10 minutes passed, they opened the doors to the lecture hall and slowly, we made our way into the vast classroom.

Soon enough, Vicky Neale started presenting her lecture on prime numbers. Throughout the hour she discussed the many fascinating topics and theories of prime numbers. This experience gave us a broader knowledge of mathematics in a new way and inspired many of us to consider further study of mathematical-related courses.


By Julia Janton and Ailis Mahony, IB Year 1 Students at EF Academy Oxford

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