BY MITCHELL COOPER / What’d you write your dissertation on? Stephen Hawking’s reply would involve a rightly smug remark about the underpinnings of all existence. Using Einstein’s theory of relativity as a baseline, he proved as a young doctoral candidate that the universe really did have a concrete beginning. And the Big Bang has haunted his work ever since.

What ignited that first spark? What was it like before, in that primordial nothingness? Before time, before matter, logic might state that there had to be something more than nothing around these parts; in order for such a dense, scorching explosion of everything humanity’s ever imagined and more mysteries that can ever be grazed to occur.
Hawking’s been probing these questions and lines of thinking for his No Boundary Proposal. Sleuthing quantum physics style, he and some fellow scientists are hot on the trail of the origin of origins, working backwards across ever-expanding space-time to discern what could have possibly begotten all this universe stuff.

The neuron-tingling specifics are best left to Hawking and his squad. Fortunately, he’s glad to share his immeasurable wealth of mind in Before the Big Bang 5: The No Boundary Proposal, his latest free YouTube film tackling the lofty subject.

Watch it here in its full-length version, and stay curious, fellow cosmonauts. – Mitchell Cooper

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