As we bid adieu to one of the best minds to ever grace humanity, we pay a tribute to the amazing and illustrious life lived by physicist Stephen Hawking. The entire world was left in shock after his family confirmed that Hawking aged 76 was no more. Being born on Galileo’s death anniversary and passing away on Albert Einstein’s birth anniversary, a name that resonates with the power of the mind, the victory of intellect over adversity, Hawking was not only an exemplary scientist but an even greater human being. We took a look at the life and times of the legend.
- Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England, to Frank and Isobel Hawking. His father was a medical researcher and the head of the Division of Parasitology at the National Institute of Medical Research.
- He attended St. Albans School. After that he graduated with honours from Oxford University where he took up physics and chemistry and went on to attend the University of Cambridge for a Ph.D. in cosmology. He has a further thirteen honorary degrees to his name.
- He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at the age of 21, which meant that the part of his nervous system responsible for muscle control was shutting down. It was a life threatening condition for which the doctors gave him just 2 more years to live. Hawking went to prove them all wrong as we went onto live a cherished life for 55 more years.
- Hawking continued at Cambridge after his graduation, serving as a research fellow. In 1974, he was inducted into the Royal Society and in 1979; he was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, the most famous academic chair in the world.
- He proposed that, since the universe boasts a beginning it likely will have an ending. Hawking also determined that black holes are not totally silent but instead emit radiation which is one of his most famous discoveries till date and completely changed the way we all looked at the universe.
- His first book, “A Brief History of Time” became an international best seller ad stayed on top of the charts for 290 weeks.
- He was awarded CBE (1982), Companion of Honour (1989) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009). He is the recipient of many awards, medals and prizes like the Fundamental Physics prize (2013), Copley Medal (2006) and the Wolf Foundation prize (1988). Surprisingly he never received the Nobel Prize.
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