// facebook pixel code

Stephen Hawking: A Legendary Scientist

By Sneaky Pill | Engineering Marvel

May 10
stephen hawking dynamicpedia

Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant English cosmologist and theoretical physicist alive, began his life on 8th of January, 1942. Presently, he is working as the research director at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, University of Cambridge.

His Life: Family, Education & ALS

Hawking had two younger sisters and was the son of a biologist.  His father wanted him to study medicine but Hawking had other plans. He won a scholarship in natural sciences and his profound interest in science led him to the University College, Oxford where he got his physics degree. Next, he moved to Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he studied astronomy and cosmology.

The onset of the year 1963 saw hawking diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a motor neuron disease, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. According to doctors, he had about 2 years time and that was not enough to acquire his doctorate. However, Hawking fought back strong, he accomplished his Ph.D. and pursued his curious bent unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

The disease spread throughout the body making it extremely difficult for Hawking to move on his own. He started using a wheelchair. Hawking then faced speaking trouble and lost his speech completely in 1985, owing to an urgent tracheotomy. Currently, he is able to communicate through a Cambridge built speech-generating gadget which is merged with a software program. Hawking moves his cheek muscles to pick words. The machine serves as his electronic voice. The Equalizer/adaptive communication system allows him to author scientific papers, books and give lectures. He can now speak 15 words in 60 seconds.

In 1965, Hawking married Jane Wilde, a literature undergraduate and they have three children (Robert, Lucy and Timothy) together. After about 30 years, he parted with Jane Wilde, and married Elaine Mason whom he divorced in 2006.

stephen hawking family dynamicpedia

Stephen Hawking family photo

The Big Bang

Hawking studying the universe and the basic laws states that the universe shows a beginning- “The Big Bang”, so it is likely to have an ending too. He along with Roger Penrose, his fellow cosmologist uses Einstein’s General Relativity theory to state that time and space originated along with the origin of the universe and would end within black holes which implicates that Einstein’s Theory should be fuses with quantum theory.

His Accomplishments:

Hawking has achieved-

  • Around 12 honorary degrees.
  • In 1982, he received the CBE award & became a Companion of Honor in 1989.
  • In 2009, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • He is a Fellow of The Royal Society
  • Also a Member of the US -National Academy of Sciences.

His Contributions:

  • Since 1979, hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position that was Sir Isaac Newton’s at one time.
  • In 1988, Hawking published “A Brief History of Time”. An immediate best-seller, the book is available in 30 different languages and has globally sold 10 million copies and counting.
  • In the history of modern physics, his 2001 book “The Universe in a Nutshell” is considered a work of genius.
  • His other nonfiction books are- “The Grand Design” &”On the Shoulders of Giants.”

In 2014, a movie, The Theory of Everything, was released based on the life and achievements of Stephen Hawking. The film received worldwide audiences and was nominated for multiple award shows and film festivals.

To capture the true essence of a living prodigy what better way to wrap up than to quote the man himself-

“All of my life, I have been fascinated by the big questions that face us, and have tried to find scientific answers to them. If, like me, you have looked at the stars, and tried to make sense of what you see, you too have started to wonder what makes the universe exist.”

Follow Us