This talk will describe the ways in which the idea of a black hole has affected the conceptual foundations of theoretical physics. The talk will be pitched at an elementary level and is addressed mainly to members of the general public and school students. No equations will be used, except for the famous one: E=mc^2. The talk will include a few simple demos to illustrate theoretical points made. The presentation will include some history, some physics, some pictures, some stories and if the audience cooperates, a lot of interaction. The title of this talk uses Steam Engines (once the mainstay of the industrial revolution) as a metaphor for the second law of thermodynamics, which limits our ability to convert heat into work. The talk will explain these ideas with simple examples and finally come to the main point: a glimpse into the work of Stephen Hawking and its impact on theoretical physics. The background presented earlier will be used to bring out some of Hawking's seminal contributions and explain them and their significance for current research.
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