Stephen Hawking to get VIP welcome

World-renowned physicist scheduled to visit Jerusalem in December.

Prof. Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge University physicist, is scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem on December 7 for an eight-day visit. Representatives of the British Embassy have already measured the widths of the doorways and the gradients of the ramps at the King David Hotel. The hotel plans to treat Hawking, who uses a wheelchair, as they would a head of state. "He has sent us a long list of food he likes and dislikes," said Sheldon Ritz, director of delegations for the hotel. "He has ordered lamb chops and steak with mashed potatoes and grilled tomatoes for breakfast... There are certain things he cannot eat and he has requested no bread or salad." It will be Hawking's second time in Israel. During his first visit, he received the 1988 Wolf Prize in physics from then-president Chaim Herzog. Hawking is a best-selling author and has made significant contributions to the study of quantum physics, particularly his theories regarding theoretical cosmology, quantum gravity and black holes.