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August, 1998

Stephen Hawking's Universe
GRADE LEVEL: 9-12+ & Professionals

This Web site, from the Public Broadcasting System, is based on the work of physicist Stephen Hawking. Users can find answers to mysteries of the universe and read about still unanswered questions.

The home page uses a large image map with links to all sections of the site. Most sections use a black background with a colored box to display the text.

Each section of the site is available from the image map on the home page or from the corresponding text links at the bottom of the page. On the other pages of the site, users return to the Stephen Hawking home page from a link at the top. Links at the bottom lead to the PBS Web site and the network station.

The Web site was created to go along with the Public Broadcasting System's (PBS) Stephen Hawking's Universe series of programs. The site has essays by Astronomy magazine Associate Editor Richard Talcott, written for each program of the series, which address ideas and questions about the universe. Users will find sections devoted to answering mysterious questions of the universe such as "What are quarks and quasars?" and "Is time travel possible?" Answers to the "Ask the Expert" questions (now non-active) are posted at the site. Viewers can learn about famous astronomers, physicists, and other scientists contributing to the understanding of the universe. Users can read about the evolution in nature-of-the-universe theories or view photographs from far away galaxies. The site includes a downloadable teacher's guide with program summaries, vocabulary, and activities. This is a great site for high school physics and undergraduate astronomy classes. The information found at the site and the discussions the site could promote make it worth visiting.