Q: If God doesn’t exist, why did the concept of his existence become almost universal？
如果上帝不存在，为什么关于他存在概念已经几乎被全世界接受了?——来自Basanta Borah, BASEL, 瑞士
A: I don’t claim that God doesn’t exist. God is the name people give to the reason we are here. But I think that reason is the laws of physics rather than someone with whom one can have a personal relationship. An impersonal God .
Q: Does the universe end? If so, what is beyond it?
宇宙有终结吗?如果有,那么之后是啥？——来自 Paul Pearson, HULL, 英格兰
A: Observations indicate that the universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate. It will expand forever, getting emptier and darker. Although the universe doesn’t have an end, it had a beginning in the Big Bang. One might ask what is before that, but the answer is that there is nowhere before the Big Bang, just as there is nowhere south of the South Pole.
Q: Do you think our civilization will survive long enough to make the leap to deeper space?
你认为我们的人类文明能够存在足够长的时间使得我们得以去探索更深的宇宙吗？——来自 Harvey Bethea, STONE MOUNTAIN, GA.
A: I think we have a good chance of surviving long enough to colonize the solar system. However, there is nowhere else in the solar system as suitable as the Earth, so it is not clear if we would survive if the Earth was made unfit for habitation. To ensure our long-term survival, we need to reach the stars. That will take much longer. Let’s hope we can last until then.
Q: If you could talk to Albert Einstein, what would you say?
如果你能够和爱因斯坦对话，你要说啥？——来自 Ju Huang, STAMFORD, 康涅狄格洲
A: I would ask him why he didn’t believe in black holes. The field equations of his theory of relativity imply that a large star or cloud of gas would collapse in on itself and form a black hole. Einstein was aware of this but somehow managed to convince himself that something like an explosion would always occur to throw off mass and prevent the formation of a black hole. What if there was no explosion?
Q: Which scientific discovery or advance would you like to see in your lifetime?
在你有生之年，你希望看到什么样的科技进步？——Luca Zanzi, ALLSTON, MASS.
A: I would like nuclear fusion to become a practical power source. It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy, without pollution or global warming.
Q: What do you believe happens to our consciousness after death?
你觉得我们死后,意识上那去了？——来自Elliot Giberson, 西雅图
A: I think the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer program. It will cease to run when the computer is turned off. Theoretically, it could be re-created on a neural network, but that would be very difficult, as it would require all one’s memories.
Q: Given your reputation as a brilliant physicist, what ordinary interests do you have that might surprise people?
你做为一个声望卓著的物理学家，你有啥普通爱好来晒晒么？——来自Carol Gilmore, JEFFERSON CITY, MO.
A: I enjoy all forms of music–pop, classical and opera. I also share an interest in Formula One racing with my son Tim.
Q: Do you feel that your physical limitations have helped or hindered your study?
你认为你的身体不便是限制了还是帮助了你的研究？——来自: Marianne Vikkula, ESPOO, 芬兰
A: Although I was unfortunate enough to get motor neuron disease, I have been very fortunate in almost everything else. I was lucky to be working in theoretical physics, one of the few areas in which disability was not a serious handicap, and to hit the jackpot with my popular books.
Q: Does it feel like a huge responsibility to have people expecting you to have all the answers to life’s mysteries?
当人们期望你能够回答所有生活的困惑问题时，你是否感到鸭梨很大？—Susan Leslie, BOSTON
A: I certainly don’t have the answers to all life’s problems. While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve. I’m no better than anyone else at understanding what makes people tick, particularly women.
Q: Do you think there will ever come a time when mankind understands all there is to understand about physics?
你认为有一天人类可以理解所有物理现象么？——来自: Karsten Kurze, BAD HONNEF, 德国
A: I hope not. I would be out of a job.