Israeli PM Ehud Olmert met yesterday with physicist Stephen Hawking and expressed his appreciation for his work in investigating the universe and for his contribution to humanity. It is his fourth visit to Israel and the first since 1989. They discussed the Israeli-Palestinian situation including the ceasefire and the possibility of advancing the negotiations between the sides. They agreed strengthening Palestinian moderates – those who support a settlement with Israel and not terrorism – is very important.
Also on Sunday, Hawking presented a prerecorded 45 minute physics lecture to Israeli teenagers at the Bloomfield Museum of Science about black holes and how they warp space-time. His talk also included topics such as Wheeler-Feynman electro-dynamics, the Euclidian approach to quantum gravity, "naked singularities" and the "Cosmic Censorship hypothesis". He finished his presentation by answering questions posed by the winners and finalists of the Intel-Young Israeli Scientists competition.
Before leaving for England on Friday, Hawking will speak to Palestinian science students through a video conference seminar organised by the British Council in East Jerusalem, meet with members of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Israeli physicists at the Centre for Excellence at Neve Shalom, visit Tel Aviv University, give a lecture at Birzeit University in Ramallah, and guest lecture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on "The Origin of the Universe". The lecture will also be carried live on the Hebrew University's website.