Legendary Physicist Stephen Hawking Passes Away
Today, the scientific community mourns the loss of a great mind, Stephen William Hawking. Stephen was a renowned cosmologist, theoretical physicist, and author. He is survived by his wife, three children, and three grandchildren. He was famous for exploring the mysteries of the universe, black holes, and quantum theory. Professor Stephen Hawking worked on basic laws that governed the universe. Along with the company of Roger Penrose, Stephen aimed to unify the theory of general relativity with quantum theory. This led to the discovery that black holes were not completely black, but rather emitted something called the “Hawking radiation.”
He also speculated that the universe has no edge or boundary in imaginary time. This, in turn, would mean that the beginning of the universe was completely determined by the laws of science. In recent years, Stephen and his colleagues had been working on a resolution to the black hole information paradox, which centered around the conservation of information.
Here are some lesser-known facts about the genius physicist.
Some Facts about Stephen Hawking
- He was born on January 8, 1942; exactly 300 years after Galileo’s death.
- His death i.e. March 14, 2018, coincides with the birthday of Albert Einstein. Both these great minds also passed away at the age of 76.
- Although he was a mediocre student, his teachers and classmates often called him “Einstein.”
- Stephen was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and given a lifespan of only 2.5 years but he lived until the age of 76.
- His greatest achievement was the Hawking equation that measures the emissions from black holes (Hawking radiation).
- The first book he published “A Brief History of Time” sold more than 10 million copies over 20 years and was on the London Sunday Times best-seller list for almost 237 weeks.
- Stephen’s father wanted him to study Medicine at Oxford, but he ended up taking Physics with a scholarship at Oxford.
Achievements of Stephen Hawking
Professor Stephen Hawking has received around thirteen honorary degrees. The most recent one was the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards for Basic Sciences (2015). Some other notable ones were the Commander of the British Empire (1982), Companion of Honour (1989) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009). In addition, he received many awards, medals, and prizes, like the Fundamental Physics Prize (2013), Copley Medal (2006) and the Wolf Foundation prize (1988). Dr. Stephen Hawking was also a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Enago Academy will always remember the great work done by Stephen Hawking.