Physicists Werner Israel and Stephen Hawking share a chat. (Photo UVic.ca)

Book donated to University of Victoria reveals forgotten letter from Stephen Hawking

First-edition Hawking book yields personalized letter to UVic prof

The donation of a vintage first-edition Stephen Hawking book made to the University of Victoria Libraries archive this year yielded an additional prize.

Folded inside the book – a 1973 copy of the book The large scale structure of space-time by Hawking and G.F.R. Ellis – was a personalized letter from the famous English physicist, Hawking, to the book’s owner, retired UVic professor emeritus and physicist Werner Israel.

Now 87, Israel was once a colleague of Hawking’s and assisted on two published works by Hawking, General Relativity: An Einstein Centenary Survey and Three Hundred Years of Gravitation. His donation to UVic Libraries includes plenty of books but the biggest find was the letter, as reported in the recent issue of the Ring Magazine.

RELATED: Stephen Hawking dies at 76

“Library staff discovered a signed letter from Stephen to Israel, dated February 6, 1981 … the letter was tucked into the back dust jacket, along with two newspaper clippings about Hawking’s latest accomplishment, and Israel’s pencilled summary of important formulae on the flyleaf.”

Israel added that his role in editing the books used his expertise but did not involve active research, he said.

“…There was no need for daily consultation after the initial planning of topics and authors. I undertook most of the routine work, which would have been a burden for Stephen. But it was, of course, Stephen’s name and charisma which brought ready acceptances from all of the distinguished authors we invited.”

RELATED: Hundreds line Cambridge streets to honour Stephen Hawking

Later, Hawking nominated Israel for a fellowship among the Royal Society which he achieved in 1986.

Werner still volunteers with ESL students and lives with his wife Inge.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Coroner’s inquest jury into Surrey Pretrial death calls for improvements

John Michael Murphy, 25, died on Aug. 3, 2016 after a fight with his cellmate

OUR VIEW: Trudeau’s lost opportunity in Surrey – again

Cabinet has five MPs from the West while Ontario gets 17, Quebec gets 11, and Atlantic provinces, four

Surrey Schools receiving $21K for mental health programs

Each district in B.C. is receiving a portion of the $2-million grant from the province

UPDATE: Pedestrian dies after train collision in Cloverdale

Police say the investigation is in the early stages

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Three cops investigated in connection to ex-Vancouver detective’s sexual misconduct

Fisher was convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to kissing two young women who were witnesses in a criminal case

Violence response procedures updated for B.C. schools, police

ERASE program expands to target gangs, bullying of students

A pawsitive ending: Missing puppy found after nine-day search in Chilliwack

Pit bull Frankie ran from dog sitter booked through app

SkyTrain workers vote 96.8% in favour of job action, union says

CUPE 7000’s main issues have been wages, staffing, overtime and sick leave

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Most Read