Across the Universe
In 1979, Wu Zhongchao went to Cambridge University as a senior visiting scholar from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, Anhui Province. Five years later, he completed his PHD in cosmology under the tutelage of eminent physicist Stephen Hawking (1942-2018).
Wu translated several of Hawking's renowned works into Chinese, including A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell, and maintained a life-long friendship with his mentor.
On March 14, when news of Hawking's death at the age of 76 reached Wu, who was then in the US state of Colorado, he was overwhelmed by a mix of feelings. Through a telephone interview, he gave an inside account of Hawking's three visits to China.
In the early 1980s, China had just started opening its door to the outside world, and many people from across the globe were hoping to visit the ancient and mysterious Middle Kingdom. Hawking was among them, but he had no idea which university was suitable to
Stephen Hawking gives a speech at Zhejiang University on August 15, 2002