Stephen Hawking: The man who made astro-physics understandable

Rodiano Bonacci
Marzo 14, 2018

Hawking also warned Britain ahead of the Brexit referendum in 2016 against leaving the European Union: "Gone are the days when we could stand on our own against the world".

"His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake".

"But it's not empty".

Science writer Krauss said: "A star just went out in the cosmos".

"We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit". Hawking wrote the 134-page document as a 24-year-old postgraduate student while studying at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

He was considered a medical marvel, having lived for more than half a century with the devastating condition motor neurone disease.

Hawking was born in Oxford, England, on what turned out to be an auspicious date: January 8, 1942 - the 300th anniversary of the death of astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei.

Hawking grew up in London and St Albans and, after gaining a first-class degree in physics from Oxford, went on to Cambridge for postgraduate research in cosmology.

Even though his body was attacked by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, when Hawking was 21, he stunned doctors by living with the normally fatal illness for more than 50 years.

Hawking used a speech synthesizer that allowed him to speak in a computerized voice with an American accent.

Hawking's first major breakthrough came in 1970, when he and Roger Penrose applied the mathematics of black holes to the entire universe and showed that a singularity, a region of infinite curvature in spacetime, lay in our distant past: the point from which came the big bang.

Hawking became one of the world's leading scientists with the publishing of his book "A Brief History of Time" in 1988. He was portrayed by Eddie Redmayne in the 2014 film, The Theory of Everything. "“In order to make sure it was understandable I tried the book out on my nurses".

Hawking's seminal contributions continued through the 1980s.

"It has certainly helped that I have a job and that I have been looked after so well", Hawking told the New York Times.

He carried out groundbreaking research until his death.

Hawking's acclaimed book, A Brief History of Time, was made into a documentary in 1991, directed by Errol Morris, who also paid tribute.

Most recently he was pictured on a cinema visit in Cambridge to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. "I have three children, and three grandchildren so far".

The US space agency tweeted: "Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. He once said, 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him for ever".

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