Stephen Hawking death anniversary: Everything to know about legendary scientist
Stephen Hawking death anniversary: Apart from his books, Hawking is also remembered for his words, describing the universe in the easiest terms.
English theoretical physicist, author and cosmologist, Stephen William Hawking, whose theories changed the way the world looked at the cosmos, passed away at his home in Cambridge, England, at the age of 76 on March 14, 2018. Hawking was one of the few scientists who became a celebrity during his lifetime.
The world famous physicist, best known for inventing a formula in 1974 to measure black hole radiations, now known as Hawking radiation, was diagnosed with motor neuron disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in 1963. The doctors at the time had only given him two to five years to live, but he lived with it for more than five decades.
Hawking was born in Oxfordshire, England on January 8, 1942. His father was a research biologist and his mother a medical research secretary. Despite his father working in the field of biology, he hated the subject. In school, Hawking was famous for his reputation for brashness. He was an average student in school and was referred to as 'Einstein' by his friends.
Hawking completed his undergraduate degree in physics from University College, Oxford, in 1962 and his PhD from Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1966. He also served as a research fellow in Trinity Hall. In 1974, he was inducted into the Royal Society, a worldwide fellowship of scientists, as one of the youngest ever Fellows at the age of 32. In 1979, he was appointed as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, a position held by Isaac Newton in 1669. They also released his doctoral thesis to the public on its website in the year 2017.
Throughout his life, Hawking tried to understand the vastness of space and wrote as much as he could. He authored several books in laymen's language for an easier understanding of the various phenomena. A Brief History of Time and The Theory of Everything were among the major best-sellers among science enthusiasts and casual readers alike. His theory on black holes is considered to be his greatest work. His final paper was called ‘Black Hole Entropy and Soft Hair’. Further, the movie The Theory of Everything, named after one of his books, was revered the globe over as one of the best biographical films ever made.
Hawking became a Commander of the British Empire in 1982 and was made a Companion of Honour by the Queen in 1989. He has also been honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US.
Apart from his books, Hawking is also remembered for his words, describing the universe in the easiest terms. Some of them are, "If you believe in science, like I do, you believe that there are certain laws that are always obeyed." "The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?" "Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious."
(With inputs from agencies)