back to article Hawking amazed by weightlessness

Stephen Hawking is back on solid ground after completing eight "zero gravity" plunges aboard the vomit comet. Stephen Hawking, weightless and happy In total, the professor spent around four minutes weightless. On his return, he described the experience as "amazing", proving that even a genius can have his vocabulary humbled …


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  1. Dave Robinson

    I've got an 'A' Level

    It's a shame that one of the world's most eminent physicists doesn't understand that plummetting at the same velocity as the aircraft you happen to be floating around in is not the same as zero gravity. "I could have gone on and on" he said... presumably, right up to the the point where the "zero gravity" caused him to hurtle into the ground.

    Or perhaps he's trying to popularise science.

    Mind you, I didn't understand "A Brief History of Time", so who am I to criticise?

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  3. Andy


    I think when Mr Hawking said that he could go on and on, he meant that he would have enjoyed the opportunity to stay "weightless" indefinitely.

    Not that he thought that if he pushed off from the aircraft that he would float on forever, perhaps pointing his newly hacked missile launch platform at the moon, or something...

  4. Dillon Pyron

    A more deserving man

    There is no more deserving man on the face of the earth. He is the smartest man on the face of the earth (of all time?). And clearly "the greatest living Briton".

    I hope that he makes it into space.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course, now he is the most stupid person ever, wow.

    Or not.

    "on and on", probably just means up and down, hardly semantics needed to fish slap you here.

    He didn't say Zero-G, it was "the zero-G part". What was he supposed to say?

    "The part where I was falling as fast as the aeroplane."

    to which people cry "Oh just say zero-g you cock!"


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Greatest living Briton?

    Smartest man of all time? Greatest living Briton? Get a grip. His useful, practical contribution to humanity is what, exactly?

    He seemingly can't even manage a spot of human decency towards those who have spent years caring for him. The brand of arrogant "expert" that he represents makes me sick. So he can afford to pay for an expensive joyride... wow, that's really newsworthy. Groundbreaking stuff... come on, this subject isn't worthy of the Reg.

  7. Mike

    Let's send him to actual space

    If we all offer like $20, we might be able to send him into actual space. I bet he would love to reflect on life and his ideas while gazing out in actual space for a while. Let's give him that experience.

  8. Dave Robinson

    In defence of A level physics, 1983

    I don't think I've read any article or web page that attempts to distinguish between zero gavity and zero-g force, in the context of parabollic flights. To quote the never wrong Wikipedia article on "zero-g":

    "Often, the term 'zero gravity' or 'reduced gravity' is used to describe weightlessness, but these are scientifically inaccurate."

    Personally, I find the concept of 'scientifically innaccurate' and the world's greatest living scientist (which I'm not disputing) to be a source of some amusement.

    Perhaps Prof. Hawking was refering to his greatest yet-to-be-published discovery, having proved that "G", the universal gravitational constant, is in fact zero and not 6.67*10-11 m3 kg-1s-2 like Newton thought.

    Alas, irony is lost on so many people.

  9. Tony Cheetham

    In defense of Hawkers

    As I'm sure you know Dave, you are never in zero-G, unless you have managed to find an expanse of space completely devoid of all mass(including your own). Zero-G in its classical and almost universally known non-pedantic meaning describes a lack of a noticeable gravitational effect, and that's exactly what the flight is for.

  10. Edward Pearson

    Great stuff!

    First of all, its so lovely to see such jilted, prejudiced and misinformed comments, make me feel like I'm back at home at Slashdot.

    Second, I think its great to see Hawking enjoying himself at Zero-G (I dare you to correct me, go on) and I too hope he makes it to space. He is indeed an extremely intelligent man, though his contribution to science is nothing tangeable, he still furthered his field.

    Cleverest person of all time. Hmm, aren't you forgetting that German chap? He came out with thousands of predictions, which he was unable to prove (This is because of the exact nature of science. Take 1,2,3. Scientifically, saying 4 is next, isn't a proof, its a prediction). These predictions are being proved by other people on a near daily basis, we have years of is discovery backed up.

    Anyhow, good for you Hawking.

    Also to the guy who said that he's a selfish guy who's abused his carers for years: How did you get so bitter.


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