Stephen Hawking was a renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist, widely considered to be one of the most brilliant minds of his generation. He was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England, and died on March 14, 2018, in Cambridge, England.
Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, at the age of 21. Despite being given only a few years to live, he went on to live for more than 50 years, making significant contributions to the field of physics during that time.
Hawking received his undergraduate degree in physics from University College, Oxford, in 1962, and went on to earn his Ph.D. in cosmology from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1966. His doctoral thesis was titled “Properties of Expanding Universes.”
In the 1970s, Hawking made several groundbreaking discoveries related to black holes. He showed that black holes emit radiation, now known as Hawking radiation, which causes them to slowly shrink and eventually evaporate. This was a major breakthrough in the study of black holes, and it helped to reconcile the laws of thermodynamics with the laws of quantum mechanics.
Hawking was also known for his popular science books, which helped to bring complex scientific concepts to a wider audience. His most famous book, “A Brief History of Time,” was published in 1988 and became an international bestseller. It has since been translated into more than 40 languages.
Hawking received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Albert Einstein Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Order of the British Empire. He was a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Early Life and Education
- Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England.
- He showed a natural aptitude for science from a young age.
- He attended University College, Oxford, where he studied physics and graduated with a first-class honors degree in 1962.
- He then went on to pursue his Ph.D. in cosmology at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he worked under the supervision of the renowned physicist Dennis Sciama.
Diagnosis of ALS
- In 1963, at the age of 21, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive and incurable neurological disease.
- Doctors told him that he had only a few years to live.
- Despite this devastating news, Hawking continued to pursue his research with determination and passion.
Contributions to Physics
- Hawking made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of black holes, the Big Bang, and the nature of space and time.
- His early research focused on the Big Bang theory, which was then a relatively new concept.
- His doctoral thesis was titled “Properties of Expanding Universes,” and it explored the implications of the Big Bang for the nature of space and time.
- Hawking’s work on black holes led to the discovery of Hawking radiation, which is now widely recognized as one of the most important theoretical predictions in modern physics.
- He continued to make important contributions to the field of physics until his death.
Popularity and Books
- Hawking was also known for his popular science books, which helped to bring complex scientific concepts to a wider audience.
- His most famous book, “A Brief History of Time,” has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
- He was a charismatic and engaging speaker, and he was often called upon to explain complex scientific concepts to a general audience.
Physical Limitations and Communication
- Throughout his life, Hawking faced numerous physical challenges as a result of his ALS.
- He was confined to a wheelchair and had to communicate using a computerized voice system.
- Despite these limitations, he remained an active researcher and a passionate advocate for science and education.
Awards and Honors
- Hawking received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Albert Einstein Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Order of the British Empire.
- He was a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.
- Despite his passing in 2018, Hawking’s legacy continues to inspire future generations of scientists and researchers.
- He was a true inspiration to many, and his work will continue to have a profound impact on our understanding of the universe for generations to come.
|Full Name||Stephen William Hawking|
|Date of Birth||January 8, 1942|
|Place of Birth||Oxford, England|
|Date of Death||March 14, 2018|
|Education||University College, Oxford (B.A.), Trinity College, Cambridge (Ph.D.)|
|Spouse||Jane Wilde (1965-1995), Elaine Mason (1995-2006)|
|Children||Robert, Lucy, and Timothy|
|Disabilities||Diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) at age 21, which eventually left him paralyzed and unable to speak without the use of a computerized voice system|
|Interests||Physics, cosmology, mathematics, science communication|
|Notable Achievements||Hawking radiation, A Brief History of Time, numerous awards and honors for his contributions to science and society|