Famous places attract famous people. Or it might as well be the opposite. Anyway, living in such place at least gives you opportunities to see, listen to, and sometimes even talk to someone you think you know well, but they do not know about you at all.
On Sunday I went to see the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, where Stephen Hawking works. I obviously did not see him, but I saw one knot with eleven crossings which has a special polynomial solution, blah blah… I admire mathematicians who spend their life to solve knots! There was another which has the same solution but was different from the former but I did not find it (the knot, not the solution). Oh, and there is the Stephen Hawking Building 500m from where I live!
Yash told me that Roger Penrose was going to give a talk in St. John’s college on Wednesday. Listening to someone who has contributed so much to the understanding of the universe (well… not my understanding, but the sum of understanding) is quite tempting so I went there, even though I am not a cosmology buff at all. Besides, it was going to take place in a college that I had not seen yet.
St. John’s is picturesque and you really feel like a 17th century scholar between its walls. The talk itself was… a bit boring. It was partly my fault, because it was not that advanced, so I should have understood quite a lot. When it comes to different possibilities of what will happen to the universe and what happened (if anything) before the Big Bang, I get slightly confused. However, I think that Penrose is to be blamed as well, because Yash told me he would make me laugh. He did, but only two times in 1.5h. Later Yash told me that I missed all the fun because there was no time for questions and this is the most interesting part. Anyway, it was nice to listen to Penrose and hopefully I will have more opportunities to see famous physicists. I am particularly curious to see Newton and Einstein, but I am afraid they are not visiting Cambridge for a while.