J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee
PO Box 220, Los Alamos, NM 87544

The New Mexico Consortium is hosting Cosmic Frontiers: Stephen Hawking & The Universe, a two-day event April 27-28, 2024 centered around scientist Stephen Hawking. As a partner in the event, JROMC is co-sponsoring the Saturday evening session, April 27 beginning at 7:30pm. LANL Director Thom Mason will introduce the distinguished speaker for the evening, Professor Thomas Hertog from the Institute for Theoretical Physics, KU Leuven, Belgium.

Learn more about the weekend event, including the entire weekend agenda, at www.cosmicfrontiers.org. All components of the event are free and open to the public, but entry tickets must be reserved on the SALA Los Alamos Event Center website:


On the Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory


Perhaps the biggest question that Stephen Hawking tried to answer in his extraordinary career was how the universe could have created conditions so perfectly hospitable to life. Holed up in theoretical physics departments across the globe, Hawking and I worked shoulder-to-shoulder for twenty years, to develop a fresh vision of the universe’s birth that could account for this mysterious, biophylic design. Venturing far back in time, we were startled to find a deeper level of evolution in which physical laws transform and simplify until particles, forces, and even time fade away. This led us to a revolutionary idea: The laws of physics are not set in stone but are born and co-evolve as the universe they govern takes shape. In On the Origin of Time I recount our quest to get a grips on cosmogenesis, and the bold new take on some of the universe’s fundamentals Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory reveals.

Speaker Biography:

Thomas Hertog is a renowned cosmologist and long-time collaborator of Stephen Hawking. He received his doctorate from the University of Cambridge, joined the University of California at Santa Barbara as a research fellow in 2002, and became fellow at CERN, Geneva, in 2005. Currently Hertog is professor at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of Louvain, in Belgium, where he studies the quantum dynamics of black holes and the big bang.

Hertog also leads Belgium’s participation in the ESA/NASA flagship mission LISA (the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) dedicated to the detection of gravitational waves — ripples of spacetime once predicted by Albert Einstein. Hertog has been guest professor at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at Santa Barbara, visiting senior fellow at Trinity College in Cambridge, and affiliate member of the International Solvay Institutes for Physics in Brussels. He is also an acclaimed science communicator. He has curated several exhibitions at the interface of science and arts and is the author of the New York Times bestseller On the Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory, in which he has advanced a fundamentally evolutionary conception of physics in the earliest stages of the universe.