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‘Physics itself disappears’: How theoretical physicist Thomas Hertog helped Stephen Hawking produce his final, most radical theory of everything

In 2002, Thomas Hertog, then a theoretical physics graduate student, stepped inside Stephen Hawking’s office at the University of Cambridge and saw his supervisor’s eyes filled with emotion. 

Hawking’s news was also a confession. The famed physicist told his student that his book, “A Brief History of Time,” was wrong because it predicted a barren universe unsuitable for life, and he wanted Hertog to help him find a new theory.

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