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Physicist & Author Professional Stephen Hawking has Died at Age 76

Physicist & Author Professional Stephen Hawking has Died at Age 76

Professor Stephen Hawking (Stephen William Hawking) , one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein and author, has died at the age of 76 on the 14th of March 2018.  He is best known for creating what is now known as the Hawking radiation in 1974, where black holes have a temperature and produce radiation, breaking new ground on the basic laws that govern the universe and publishing his complex scientific ideas through books, including best seller “A Brief History of Time.”

” Professor Stephen Hawking has Died at Age 76 “

Professor Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford.  He went to Cambridge University in 1962 as a PhD student and rose to become the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1979 and retired in 2009, a position once held by Isaac Newton.  He had also received numerous accolades, including CBE in 1982, Companion of Honour in 1989, US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, Copley Medal of the Royal Society, the Albert Einstein Award, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Fundamental Physics Prize and the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Basic Sciences.

Professor Stephen Hawking achieved all this despite his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular wasting disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which he was diagnosed as a student in 1963.  He was given only a few years to live, and the disease gradually reduced his body control, movements and speech.  For most of his life, he was confined to a wheelchair.  Later on, Professor Stephen Hawking used a program “Equalizer” developed by computer expert Walter Woltosz, where he was able to click on a switch, and browse through menus to build up sentences on the computer screen.

He was born in Oxford, England on the 8th of January 1942, exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who had made major contributions to the fields of physics, astronomy, cosmology, mathematics and philosophy including inventing an improved telescope.  Professor Stephen Hawking was known to be a mediocre student at St. Albans School in London, though his brilliance was recognized by some classmates and teachers.  At University College Oxford, he found mathematics and physics too easy, and rarely read books or took notes and reportedly spent only one hour of study a day over 3 years.

Sources: BBC, NY Times, Cambridge University

 

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