The world is mourning the loss of one of it’s greatest minds., Stephen Hawking (1942-2018), was a visionary, a world-renowned scientist, known for his great work in physics and cosmology; especially his work related to Black Holes, Big Bang, and Quantum Theory. He was a theoretical physicist, cosmologists, and an author.
Hawking was born in Oxford, United Kingdom, in 1942 to Frank Hawking, a medical researcher, and Isobel Hawking, a philosophy-graduate. Although Hawking’s parents were not financially sound, they both received their degrees from the University of Oxford..
Hawking attended St Albans School near London and, later on, earned his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Oxford. In his early years of schooling, he considered his classes at Oxford exceptionally easy and boring. He also found it difficult to fit in with others, but after joining the university’s boat club for rowing team, he became more interested in college and made more of an effort to fit in. As a doctoral student of University of Cambridge in 1962, he was assigned to work under Dennis Sciama, one of the fathers of modern cosmology, where he began his research career.
At the age of 21, Hawking was diagnosed with motor-neuron disease (also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-ALS). At that the time it wasn’t clear whether he would be able to complete his Ph.D., as the doctors had given him the life expectancy of 2 years. However, breaking all the norms, he lived for 55 more glorious years, gifting the world with his immense knowledge, humorous personality, and uplifting nature.
On 14th July 1965, Hawking married Jane Wilde, one of his sister’s friends, who he met shortly before being diagnosed with the disease. In one of his interviews, he stated that she was “something to live for.”. But after 25 years of marriage and three children, Hawking’s illness coupled with sharing their home with a team of nurses, strained Jane resulting in a divorce. Hawking remarried and divorced a woman named Mason from 1995 to 2006.
Hawking published various books, but his bestseller was ‘A Brief History of Time: From Big Bang to Black Holes’ He wrote it in 1988 for non-specialist readers who have no prior knowledge of scientific theories. It sold more than 10 million copies, and was a London Sunday Times bestseller for almost five years.
was always full of energy and was never exhausted with his world travels, even in his severe conditions. Along with contributing his life to science, he also involved himself in various humanitarian works and supported many political causes.
Hawking passed away at the age of 76 on March 14, 2018, at his home in Cambridge, UK.
Work on singularities along with Roger Penrose:
‘A gravitational singularity is a one-dimensional point which contains infinite mass in an infinitely small space’. Along with Roger Penrose, Hawking worked on singularities and proved the existence of singularities, speculating that the whole universe might have started from a singularity.
Co-discovered the four laws of black hole mechanics:
Along with James Bardeen and Brandon Carter, he co-discovered the four laws of black holes mechanics which states the physical properties that black holes satisfy and are analogous to the laws of thermodynamics.
Theory of Hawking radiation:
Hawking discovered this theory thus the name given, it states that black holes emit radiation and these radiations may exist til they exhaust their energy and evaporate.
Contribution to the theory of cosmic inflation:
Hawking calculated the quantum fluctuations created during cosmic inflation in-order to show how this might have resulted in the spread of galaxies in the universe.
Proposed Hartle-Hawking state, along with James Hartle:
Hawking co-published the model of Hartle–Hawking state along with James Hartle, which propose that time didn’t exist before the Big Bang, thus making the concept of the beginning of Universe senseless.
Some of his awards
- Adams Prize (1966)
- Eddington Medal (1975)
- Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics (1976)
- Hughes Medal (1976)
- Albert Einstein Medal (1979)
- Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics (1987)
- Copley Medal (2006)
- Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009)
Stephen Hawking inspired millions of people all around the world with his intelligence, full of life nature, and positive attitude towards all the hurdles in his life. He made people believe that it is okay to have a weakness, it is okay if one is not perfect, but it is not okay to let your weakness make you weak. Hawking made his weakness his greatest strength and achieved everything he ever wanted without any limitations. His words of wisdom, philosophical thoughts, and ideology are something that people will remember him by forever.