Time travellers are welcome at Stephen Hawking's memorial in June


In a fitting homage to Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist’s memorial service will not only be open to members of the public, but time travellers of the future, too.

A thousand people will be able to attend Hawking’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey in June, and tickets are being given out via a public ballot.

As part of the application, applicants have to enter in their date of birth – but when they do, they’ll notice something odd. People can enter in a date right up to 31 December 2038 and still apply.

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But while you might think it’s just another ‘2038 problem,’ it’s actually not a mistake – or that’s how the Stephen Hawking Foundation is spinning it.

“We cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven to our satisfaction,” a spokesperson for the Foundation told the BBC. “All things are possible until proven otherwise.”

The ballot being opened up to people of the future is a fitting homage to the seminal physicist who famously hosted a champagne party in 2009 for time travellers. Talking to the press at the Seattle Science Festival in 2012, Hawking said: “I gave a party for time-travellers but I didn’t send out the invitations until after the party. I sat there a long time but no one came.”

The invitations explained that the event was held “in the past, at the University of Cambridge Gonville & Caius College, Trinity Street, Cambridge”. No RSVP was required.

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Stephen Hawking’s ashes will be put to rest next to two other influential scientists: Charles Darwin, buried in 1882 and Isaac Newton, buried in 1727. The Service of Thanksgiving will be held at Westminster Abbey on 15 June.

Within 24 hours of the ticket ballot being opened, 12,000 people from all over the world had already applied for selection. If you want the chance to attend his memorial, the ballot closes at midnight tomorrow on 15 May, so get your applications in now – unless you’re a time traveller, then you have all the time in the world.



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