Physicists Werner Israel and Stephen Hawking share a chat. (Photo UVic.ca)

Book donated to University of Victoria reveals forgotten letter from Stephen Hawking

First-edition Hawking book yields personalized letter to UVic prof

The donation of a vintage first-edition Stephen Hawking book made to the University of Victoria Libraries archive this year yielded an additional prize.

Folded inside the book – a 1973 copy of the book The large scale structure of space-time by Hawking and G.F.R. Ellis – was a personalized letter from the famous English physicist, Hawking, to the book’s owner, retired UVic professor emeritus and physicist Werner Israel.

Now 87, Israel was once a colleague of Hawking’s and assisted on two published works by Hawking, General Relativity: An Einstein Centenary Survey and Three Hundred Years of Gravitation. His donation to UVic Libraries includes plenty of books but the biggest find was the letter, as reported in the recent issue of the Ring Magazine.

RELATED: Stephen Hawking dies at 76

“Library staff discovered a signed letter from Stephen to Israel, dated February 6, 1981 … the letter was tucked into the back dust jacket, along with two newspaper clippings about Hawking’s latest accomplishment, and Israel’s pencilled summary of important formulae on the flyleaf.”

Israel added that his role in editing the books used his expertise but did not involve active research, he said.

“…There was no need for daily consultation after the initial planning of topics and authors. I undertook most of the routine work, which would have been a burden for Stephen. But it was, of course, Stephen’s name and charisma which brought ready acceptances from all of the distinguished authors we invited.”

RELATED: Hundreds line Cambridge streets to honour Stephen Hawking

Later, Hawking nominated Israel for a fellowship among the Royal Society which he achieved in 1986.

Werner still volunteers with ESL students and lives with his wife Inge.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LDCU offers no interest loans for members in need

Existing members can borrow up to $5,000 interest free

Sweet treat helps make Chemainus Health Care Centre workers feel complete

Girl Guide cookies always in good taste when showing appreciation

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Ongoing list of Ladysmith COVID-19 cancellations and closures

Everything in Ladysmith that has been impacted by COVID-19

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Most Read