Future Tense

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Stephen Hawking, Black Holes, and The Theory of Everything

“You go into science because you want to make a discovery, you want to advance our understanding of the universe,” says Neil deGrasse Tyson in the video above. “Not everyone gets to accomplish that. Stephen Hawking has.”

While we all know Hawking has made an enormous impact on the world of knowledge, lots of us don’t quite understand the science that made him famous. But his fellow genius Neil deGrasse Tyson is here to help you out. In the video, Tyson discusses Hawking radiation—arguably the theoretical physicist’s most famous contribution—and how it fundamentally changed our understanding of black holes. He describes Hawking’s merging of quantum physics with the general theory of relativity as, in a word, “badass.” It’s because of all of this that Tyson is “enchanted” by the uptick in the production of movies like the Oscar buzz-worthy The Theory of Everything, which portray scientists as the heroes that many of them are.