Last day at Cambridge

There were no lectures on departure day, so a few of us went into town. We had already been on a tour of the Cambridge colleges organised by the Faraday Institute (see post below), so now it was time for some shopping! First stop was Cambridge University Press – awesome, what a selection. I finally chose three (Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics by John Bell, A Mathematician’s Apology by Hardy, and Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe by Simon Conway Morris), only to find I’d left my wallet in college.

Ah well. I was pleased to notice quite a few of the conference speakers represented in that one shop (Conway Morris, Polkinghorne, Harrison), it says a lot about the level of the conference. Further down the street, I came across the new Hawking book on relativity. It’s basically a collection of Einstein’s essays on relativity for a general audience, with a foreword to each by Hawking. I read Hawking’s introduction to the subject in the shop, it’s excellent (although I didn’t see a reference to Galilean relativity)..another must-have.

Incidentally, we nearly bumped into Hawking one evening in town. We were coming around the corner of Gonville and Caius (his college) on our way for a drink in the famous Eagle (the pub where they first announced DNA), when who should be emerge from the college but SH! As it happens, one of us was in a wheelchair (hope the leg’s better soon Hannah!) and I fancy Hawking shot her a sympathetic look as his people were bundling him into a large car…

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