22:29 GMT03 March 2021
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    Time travelers are officially invited to the memorial service of world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who passed away in March at the age of 76.

    The memorial service will be held at Westminster Abbey in London on June 15, 2018. According to the Stephen Hawking Foundation, members of the public can have a shot at attending the service by filling out an online ballot, which will be entered into a lottery. One thousand people will be randomly selected to attend. 

    Here's where things get interesting. The online ballot requires applicants to fill in their date of birth… which can be any day up to December 31, 2038. That means that doors remain open to time travelers in the fourth dimension.

    "We cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven to our satisfaction," a spokesman for the Stephen Hawking Foundation told the BBC.

    "All things are possible until proven otherwise. But so far we have had applications from all round the world, and we do mean round — there are no flat-Earthers here," the spokesperson added.

    Hawking openly discussed his thoughts about time travel during his lifetime.

    In a 1992 essay titled "Space and Time Warps," he speculated that it might be possible to travel in time as well as space into the future. In 2009, he also hosted a "time traveller party," in which invitations were only sent out after the party. When no one showed up, the scientist said that it was "experimental evidence that time travel is not possible," the Telegraph reported.

    Hawking's ashes were interred next to the graves of fellow British scientists Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin at Westminster Abbey in London, England. 

    In a March statement, Dean of Westminster John Hall wrote: "It is entirely fitting that the remains of Professor Stephen Hawking are to be buried in the Abbey, near those of distinguished fellow scientists. Sir Isaac Newton was buried in the Abbey in 1727. Charles Darwin was buried beside Isaac Newton in 1882." 

    "Other famous scientists are buried or memorialised nearby, the most recent burials being those of atomic physicists Ernest Rutherford in 1937 and Joseph John Thomson in 1940. We believe it to be vital that science and religion work together to seek to answer the great questions of the mystery of life and of the universe," he added.

    Hawking was a British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and director of research at the Center for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.

    He was the first scientist to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

    He also had a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease after the famous baseball player who also had the disease. ALS gradually paralysed him, though Hawking surprised many doctors by living for 55 years following his diagnosis at the age of 21 — the disease usually leads to death within only a couple of years. Despite his immobility, Hawking continued to speak before wide audiences in a wheelchair using a voice synthesizer that quickly became his trademark.


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