Science fans can own a piece of history as a book signed by celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking is going up for auction.
The Autographed Item
On Tuesday, April 24, a book that has the late scientist's signature is up for auction at Nate D. Sanders Auctions. The book is the first edition of Brian Bracegirdle's The Archaeology of the Industrial Revolution. It was a gift to an outgoing staff member of University of Cambridge's Institute of Theoretical Astronomy. Hawking signed the book in 1973, and while the professor's handwriting was stilted, the signature was legible.
Hawking spent time as a researcher for the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy from 1968 to 1973.
A Tech Times Exclusive
Sam Heller, a representative for Nate D. Sanders Auctions, told Tech Times that a collector consigned the book to the auction house. The consignor knew that there is a demand for Hawking memorabilia. Heller added that the auction would end on Thursday, April 26 at 5 p.m. PST.
"Autographs are very rare from him because he was unable to write for nearly the last 40 years of his life," said Heller to Tech Times.
The auction is taking place one month following Hawking's funeral at the Great St. Mary's Church in Cambridge, England. On March 20, thousands of mourners applauded Hawking's casket as pallbearers brought it inside the church. Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, who portrayed the scientist in the 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything, spoke at the funeral and read a Bible passage at the service. Other high-profile mourners that paid their respects to Hawking included Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Queen's Sir Brian May, and Redmayne's co-star, Felicity Jones, who portrayed Hawking's first wife Jane in the film.
Westminster Abbey And Parallel Universes
Hawking's ashes would be near the graves of fellow scientists Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin at Westminster Abbey. While the burial ceremony is expected to take place later this year, Westminster Abbey's dean, Dr. John Hall, stated that Hawking's work is vital to both science and religion.
Before he passed away on March 14 at the age of 76 years old, Hawking submitted a final revision to the last paper he wrote, "A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation." The article focused on a theory of how humankind can detect parallel universes. Hawking proposed new mathematics that could help scientists identify traces of multiple big bangs, which are essential to creating new worlds.
As people prepare to start bidding for Hawking's signature, several fans recently paid hefty prices to be the proud owners of celebrity memorabilia. Someone paid $1.2 million for Marilyn Monroe's gown that she wore when she sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to former President John F. Kennedy. Another fan bought for $394,000 Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's chair, which she used when she wrote the first two books in the series. Also, a lucky Michael Jackson fan paid $200,000 to own one of the King of Pop's iconic crystal gloves.