It is with immense pleasure that I came across this passage in Brief History of Time. I remember reading this sentence when I was 16 but in the last 20 years I had forgotten where I read it. The only thing I could remember was that there were some physics calculations which took 3 years to complete and no one had the courage to take them on. Now I've found that passage again. I guess I did read BHOT when I was 16 and moreover I got to the end since this passage is in the final pages. I didn't understand the book though and probably just plowed through it just to say I had done it. My question is did anyone ever do these calculations? Was it eventually discovered to be a dead-end anyway? Did they ever build better computers to help out with the calculations?