Stephen Hawking Once Held A 'Party For Time Travellers' To See If It Was Possible

Stephen Hawking's intellectual prowess was "an inspiration to millions", and since passing, the internet has been awash with eulogies detailing all the incredible things we may never have known about him.

One particular account explains how, in 2009, the late-great theoretical physicist threw a "party for time travellers", making sure invitations were sent out after it happened – to ensure only people from the future would be able to attend.

Stephen Hawking at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (Photo: Lwp Kommunikáció via Flickr CC)

The professor's "Champagne party" – which came complete with Krug, balloons, and hors-d'oeuvres – was an experiment to see if inter-dimensional travel was actually possible.

In his 2010 documentary Into the Universe, Hawking hypothesized that, if people had shown up, this would serve as definitive proof time travel exists.

Unfortunately, however, it turned out to less of a gathering and more of a night-in alone.

"I have experimental evidence that time travel is not possible," he told reporters at the Seattle Science Festival in 2012.

"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."

A video from the 2009 event shows Hawking dressed up, surrounded by Champagne flutes, balloons and vacant tables, waiting for some time travellers to arrive.

"You are cordially invited to a reception for Time Travelers," the invitation read. It had also provided precise GPS coordinates, should there be any confusion over the address.

"I am hoping copies of it, in one form or another, will survive for many thousands of years," he explains.

"Maybe one day someone living in the future will find the information and use a wormhole time machine to come back to my party, proving that time travel will one day be possible."

According to reports, Hawking once contended that fellow theorist Albert Einstein seemed to offer up the "possibility that we could warp space-time so much that we could travel back in time."

But he said in doing so would likely "trigger a bolt of radiation that would destroy the spaceship – and maybe the space-time itself." 

Writer and photographer from South London, UK. If you want to get in touch please email me at: matthew.kirby@konbini.com