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Stephen Hawking and the Theory of Everything (DVD Review)

18 Mar, 2009 By: John Latchem


Street 3/24/09
DVD $24.99

There are only so many ways to simplify astrophysics to the masses.

Stephen Hawking and the Theory of Everything
is basically a two-part biography (it aired on the Discovery Science Channel) about the famed physicist and his attempts to explain the fundamental mechanics of the universe with a “Theory of Everything.”

Such a discovery would unlock the keys to understanding how all objects, big or small, would interact, practically giving the scientist the ability to peer across the heavens with the eyes of god.

That itself is an oversimplification, but one that isn’t too far off from the truth. As detailed in this program, the Pope declared that studying the universe is fine, but trying to unlock the secrets of creation is a sin. To paraphrase Hawking, he hopes he doesn’t end up in front of an inquisition like Galileo.

Hawking is best known for writing A Brief History of Time and other works pontificating on black holes and gravity, but his personal story is probably better known than the minutiae of his work. The overriding theme of the show is that while the history of the universe is still unfolding after billions of years, Hawking’s time to unravel the mystery is running out. The 67-year-old remains bound to a wheelchair with ALS, the neural disease that felled Lou Gehrig.

The intended audience for this DVD isn’t hard to figure out. Science buffs and hardcore sci-fi fans will appreciate the lessons here the most, but really anyone curious about the origins of the universe should check it out.

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