The universe: a preview

The universe: a preview


The universe, a preview_L
Photos: Discovery Channel and Lai Ying-kit
Six of our junior reporters sneaked a preview of the television programme Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking at the Space Museum on September 12.

They also had an inspiring lesson on the universe in an interview with Chu Ming-chung, space expert and physics professor; Jonathan Wong Yui-hei, teenage space enthusiast; and Wan Hoi, UFO expert.

Adrian Yeung

I am fascinated by the universe, but cannot understand the deeper concepts of quantum mechanics or the paradoxes. But a session with the space experts and enthusiasts gave me a better understanding. They explained things clearly and logically. In particular, I learned a lot about aliens. The event dispelled my ideas of big-eyed green monsters.

I also enjoyed Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, which I had been dying to watch. I do not have the Discovery Channel, which the series was made for. I was lucky to be able to watch it on a big screen.

Lucy Wong

Hongkongers have little time to think about why we are living on earth. But we should find time. I learned that time may just be an illusion, aliens may be invisible, and to any aliens out there we are aliens. Scientists can now prove most things. The workshop broadened my horizons. But space is massive and there are still many things for us to find out.

Krizto Chan

The show was spectacular, and it felt as though you were actually inside physicist Stephen Hawking's mind, looking through his very eyes.

Complex theories were made simple, illustrated with images.

The explanation of the birth of the universe was especially appealing. Pinballs cleverly helped show how an orderly arrangement can lose balance - which allowed the universe to expand. Hawking said: "If it wasn't for imperfectness, we wouldn't have existed."

Into the Universe goes beyond most scientific documentaries in its vision of humans, the dangers we face of and our role in the universe.

Ruby Leung

I was surprised when a boy I thought was also a junior reporter turned out to be one of the hosts. Jonathan is an expert on space. Beside him was the famous Chu of Chinese University.

Hawking says humans will have to move beyond our solar system. But Chu said it was "very unlikely" we could achieve this.

Jonathan said if aliens existed, they might be too small to identify, or might be entirely invisible.

One thing Chu said was fascinating - there will be no hope for the human race as a whole after 200 years, after which we will live like Noah in his ark.

At school, I am one of the worst at science, but I learned a lot. The universe is boundless, and I hope our knowledge will become so to. I have been inspired to read more on astronomy. And I sincerely hope one day I can meet an alien.

Kathy Yiu

It was such an exciting day. We asked a lot of questions. For instance, we wanted to know whether the universe had a beginning and an end. A controversial question is whether we can move to another planet before the end of human civilisation.

Chu and Jonathan helpfully answered all our questions and did not mind explaining theories.

Among the questions we asked, the most thought-provoking was whether we should communicate with aliens. Both Chu and Jonathan said approaching aliens would be extremely dangerous. But Chu made us laugh when he said he would like to ask them about what happened before the Big Bang.

I was amazed at the fantastic scenes in the documentary, and a lot of questions I've had for a long time were answered.

Most of all, I was impressed by Hawking's theories, talent and achievements.

William Cheng

It was a great experience to chat with Chu and Jonathan, about everything including the fourth dimension.

The discussion really changed my view of the universe. Most people know it's expanding. But have you ever thought why, and what makes it expand?

Even Chu does not know the answer to this mystery at the heart of our universe. But he told us some scientists have said the universe must either expand or contract, but cannot stay the same.

Scientists have also observed that the expansion is accelerating, and the speed is much greater than light, so some stars have never been seen.

Into the Universe is the most awesome documentary. Hawking gave many simple examples to explain difficult theories, including the paradoxes of time travel.

Six reporters and Professor Chu Ming-chung, UFO expert Wan Hoi and space enthousiast Jonathan Wong



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