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June 28th 2009: An important date for time travellers

June 28th 2009: An important date for time travellers

June 28, 2024

On the 28th June 2009, Stephen Hawking opened the doors of the University of Cambridge's Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics to all potential time travellers.

The late theoretical physicist is known for his groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of the universe. Among his many captivating ideas, one that stands out is his reception for time travellers. This was an experiment that aimed to help unravel the mysteries of time travel.

Hawking’s invitation was extended to time travellers from the future, so he did not announce the date of the event until after it had taken place. Although there were no attendees at the reception, the experiment caused much thought-provoking discussion around the topic of time travel.

Here at Kite, we got involved with Stephen Hawking’s experiment in 2012, after founder Peter Dean read a newspaper article in which Hawking detailed his experiment. Inspired, Peter decided to offer to design the invitation for the experiment: an invitation for time travellers. Just an hour after reaching out to Hawking’s assistant to ask if he would be interested in the idea, Peter received an affirmative reply from Stephen Hawking.

And so, Peter designed Steven Hawking’s Invitation for Time Travellers, which was first released as a limited edition. Stephen Hawking was presented with his own copy of the poster during a meeting with him in Cambridge. Peter ended up spending the whole afternoon with the Professor: a 10 minute meeting turned into hours of interesting conversation.

In the end, the Professor asked for a second copy of the print, so he could have one in his office and one in his home. One of his copies is now held at the Science Museum, and the other was auctioned at Christie’s for £11,250.

If you’d like your own copy of this inspiring invitation, the open edition of the print is available to buy here.

Image credit: Jude Edginton / Discovery Communications




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