Stephen Hawking

A scientist is a person engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge that descries and predicts the natural world. A scientist may refer to an individual who uses the scientific method.  Scientist Stephen Hawking was famous for his pioneering work with black holes and relativity. Stephen Hawking was considered world’s greatest scientist, a cosmologist, an astronomer, a mathematician. Hawking was the first scientist to offer a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is an English theoretical physicist; cosmologist and author.

Professor Stephen William Hawking was born on 8th January 1942 in Oxford, England. His parents resided in north London but during the Second World War, Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. When he was eight, his family moved to St. Albans a town about 20 miles north of London. At the age of eleven, Stephen went to St. Albans School and then on to University College, Oxford in 1952. Stephen wanted to study mathematics. But Mathematics was not available at University College, so he studied physics instead. After three years, he was awarded a first class honors degree in Natural Science.  Later, he did his PHD in cosmology (the study of the universe as a whole) from the Cambridge University. Professor Stephen Hawking received thirteen honorary degrees. He also received many awards, medals and prizes in his life.

 Hawking was a popular writer. His first book was ‘A Brief History of Time’. He and his daughter, Lucy Hawking, also created a fictional series of books for middle school children on the creation of the universe, including ‘George and the Big Bang’ Hawking made several television appearances, including a playing hologram of himself on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and a cameo on the television show ‘Big Bang Theory’. 

After his graduation Hawking served as a research fellow and later as a professional fellow at Cambridge. In 1974, he was inducted into the Royal Society, a worldwide fellowship of scientists. In 1979, he was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, the most famous academic chair in the world (the second holder was Sir Isaac Newton) He worked there till 2009. From 2009, Stephen was employed as the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research at DAMTP. 

Over the course of his career, Hawking studied the basic laws governing the universe. He proposed that, since the universe boasts a beginning — the Big Bang — it likely will have an ending. Working with fellow cosmologist Roger Penrose, he demonstrated that Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity suggests that space and time began at the birth of the universe and ends within black holes, which implies that Einstein’s theory and quantum theory must be united. Using the two theories together, Hawking also determined that Black Holes are not totally dark but instead emit radiation. He predicted that, following the Big Bang, black holes as tiny as protons were created, governed by both general relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking also proposed that the universe itself has no boundary, much like the Earth. Although the planet is finite, one can travel around it infinitely, never encountering an “end.”

In 1963, shortly after his 21st birthday Stephen was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease, commonly known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As the disease spread, Hawking became less mobile and wheelchair-bound.  In 1985, an emergency tracheotomy caused his total loss of speech. So he was dependent on a computerized voice system for communication.

Just before his diagnosis, Hawking married Jane Wilde in 1965. The couple had three children before separating. They are; Lucy Hawking, Revert hawking and Timothy Hawking.  Hawking remarried Elaine Mason in 1995 but divorced in 2006. As a person, you can conclude it by yourself that how many hardships he has done. He fell paralyzed with the disease, and at that time doctors told him that you won’t be able to live more than 2 years. His disability didn’t stop him from doing great things. He was known for his approach and attitude towards the life the attitude that made him great.

On March 14, 2018, Hawking at the age of 76 finally succumbed to the disease at his home in Cambridge, England that was supposed to have killed him more than 50 years earlier. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world. He was one of the most brilliant scientists of his age – and the best known physicist since Einstein. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you loves.’ We will miss him forever.

Abdul Kadir Jibon

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