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Hawking: We will prove existence of multiple universes

5,500 galaxies seen through the Hubble telescope Credit: NASA

In a talk at the National Science Museum to mark the start of a new exhibition Prof Hawking also says the Large Hadron Collider may prove the existence of multiple universes.

Known as M-theory Hawking says multiple universes would occur naturally.

"These multiple universes can arise naturally from physical law. Each universe has many possible histories and many possible states at later times, that is, at times like the present, long after their creation.

Most of these states will be quite unlike the universe we observe, and quite unsuitable for the existence of any form of life. Only a very few would allow creatures like us to exist."

Ending his talk, he tells his audience: "So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and hold on to that child-like wonder about what makes the universe exist."

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Hawking: I only studied for an hour a day at Oxford

Professor Stephen Hawking during a talk at the Science Museum Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Professor Hawking has admitted he was a slacker at university.

As a student of natural science at Oxford University, he once calculated that he did about 1,000 hours of work during his three years at Oxford - an average of an hour a day.

"I'm not proud of this, I'm just describing my attitude at the time, shared by most of my fellow students," Prof Hawking told an event to celebrate the launch of the Science Museum's new "Collider" exhibition.

"Because of my lack of work, I had planned to get through the final exam by doing problems in theoretical physics and avoiding questions that required factual knowledge.

"But I didn't sleep the night before the exam, because of nervous tension, and so I didn't do very well. I was on the borderline between a first and second class degree."

Nonetheless, Hawking was awarded a first and went on to pursue a glittering career in mathematics and cosmology at Cambridge University, where he is now Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

Hawking disappointed at God Particle discovery

Hawking: Disappointed Credit: PA

Cambridge scientist Professor Stephen Hawking has admitted he was disappointed at the discovery of the Higgs Boson - known as the God Particle.

Hawking is due to give a speech at the National Science Museum today and will say that: "Physics would be far more interesting if it had not been found."

The Higgs boson is theorised to give other particles mass. Had it not been detected last year at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the giant atom-smashing machine near Geneva, physicists would have had to reach for a more exotic solution to the mass problem.

Prof Hawking also said the discovery had come at a more personal cost - he lost a $100 bet.

"I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn't be found," he says. "The Nobel Prize cost me 100 dollars."

Scientists map DNA to discover genes underlying rare genetic diseases

Scientists in Cambridge have launched a new project that will revolutionise the way they understand and treat rare genetic diseases.

Over the next three years they plan to map the DNA codes of 10,000 patients with genetic conditions. The findings will then be used to help speed up diagnosis and go on to create better care for patients.

Click below to see Tanya Mercer's report:

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BT 'disturbed' by MPs' critical rural broadband report

We are disturbed by today's report, which we believe is simply wrong and fails to take on board a point-by-point correction we sent to the committee several weeks ago.

We have been transparent from the start and willing to invest when others have not.

It is therefore mystifying that we are being criticised for accepting onerous terms in exchange for public subsidy - terms which drove others away.

The taxpayer is undoubtedly getting value for money.

BT faces a payback period of around 15 years on its rural broadband investments in spite of the subsidies available.

The DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) has imposed a rigorous auditing process that ensures every penny is accounted for.

– BT spokeswoman

Scientists seek to unravel how brain sees 3D movies

Film-goers watch a 3D movie Credit: PA

Scientists at the University of Essex are hoping to work out how we see 3D movies.

The researchers have been awarded a £369,000 research grant to get a better idea of how the brain transforms the flat 2D image into a 3D one using the special glasses.

The research could help 3D movie-makers and designers of virtual reality systems make their products as “real” as possible.

3D film audiences experience a vivid awareness of three-dimensional objects and people because the special glasses present two slightly different versions of the movie to the left and right eye.

The three-year research project funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, is to determine how the brain interprets these differences.

Dr Paul Hibbard explained: “We know a 3D understanding is achieved by neurons at the back of the brain responding to the different images from each eye to make a 3D model. What we don’t know, and are trying to understand, is how the neurons are achieving this.”

It could also give a better insight into the binocular image differences that our brains respond to, and how it uses these to determine three-dimensional shape. The research could help the development of artificial computer vision , important for robotic and artificial intelligence systems.

New electric charge points for cars in Luton

Six charging points for electric cars have been installed at railway stations in Luton and St Albans as part of a scheme to encourage more people to buy environmental-friendly vehicles.

There are only around 400 such electric cars in the East of England and research shows charging points often go unused.

The points have cost £28,000 with the rail company First Capital Connect picking up half the bill and the rest of the cash coming from the government.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Tanya Mercer

Contract signed to bring high-speed broadband to Essex

A £24.6m deal has been struck between Essex County Council and BT to bring high-speed broadband to homes and businesses.

By the end of summer 2016, the whole county should have access to internet speeds of at least 2Mbps while 87pc of premises will benefit from fibre optic technology.

The deal will see BT contributing £11.7m to the programme and the local authority spending £6.46m. The remaining £6.46m comes from the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme.

Following the signing of the contract, Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of the council, said: "These upgrades will make a real difference to Essex residents and, in particular, businesses that have difficulty trading and communicating online because of slow speeds."

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