UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

YouTube clip features Berkeley's musical serenade to Stephen Hawking

– In March, world-renowned physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking came to the Berkeley campus for a series of events organized by the College of Letters and Science as part of its "On the Same Page" initiative.

Hawking, whose 1995 book, "A Briefer History of Time" had been given to all freshmen back in November, delivered the annual J. Robert Oppenheimer Lecture in Physics to a packed Zellerbach Auditorium and he also participated in a variety of other events. Among them was a memorable March 13 reception in his honor at the home of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and his wife, Mary Catherine.

The YouTube video clip above focuses on a musical tribute to Hawking peformed at that reception. Hawking is shown being serenaded by the Oakland Symphony Chorus, which performed songs from the musical "Falling through a Hole in the Air: the Incredible Journey of Stephen Hawking." The lyrics were composed by Judith Goldhaber and the music by Carl Pennypacker as part of a light opera they created and which premiered in San Francisco a decade ago. Goldhaber is a former science writer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Pennypacker is a UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory and LBNL astrophysicist/educator.

An additional article about the Hawking visit and the College of Letters and Science On the Same Page initiative is online.