image

Remembering Stephen Hawking, ‘great scientist and extraordinary man’

Renowned British physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.

One of the world’s finest scientific minds was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease in 1964.

He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning, his family said.

Prof Hawking, one of the world’s finest scientific minds, was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease in 1964 at the age of 22 and was given just a few years to live.

He eventually became confined to a wheelchair and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication.

Despite this, he continued to travel the world giving lectures and writing scientific papers about the basic laws that govern the universe.

Prof Hawking explained the Big Bang and black holes in his best-selling book A Brief History Of Time.

In a statement, his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.

“His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.

“He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love’. We will miss him forever.”

Professor Stephen Hawking receives the Honorary Freedom of the City of London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Prof Hawking receives the Honorary Freedom of the City of London

The University of Cambridge said Prof Hawking was “an inspiration to millions” and his work will leave “an indelible legacy”.

Prof Hawking arrived at the University of Cambridge in 1962 as a PhD student, and rose through the ranks to become the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position once held by Sir Isaac Newton, in 1979.

Nasa remembered Prof Hawking as a “renowned physicist and ambassador of science”, while inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, tweeted: “We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking.”

British astronaut Tim Peake said Prof Hawking “inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe”.

Professor Stephen Hawking death

Prof Hawking with Felicity Jones, Jane Hawking and Eddie Redmayne at the UK premiere of The Theory Of Everything in Leicester Square

Prof Hawking was born on January 8 1942 in Oxford, the eldest of four children, and went on to become one of the world’s most acclaimed cosmologists.

His rise to fame and relationship with his first wife, Jane, was dramatised in a 2014 film, The Theory Of Everything, in which Eddie Redmayne put in an Oscar-winning performance as the physicist battling with a devastating illness.

Prof Hawking was a vocal champion of the NHS and until his final months sparred with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

He recently said he would not have had such a long life without the NHS, and less than two months ago a campaign group backed by Prof Hawking was granted permission to challenge Mr Hunt in the High Court over plans to allow private companies to play a greater role in the service.

The scientist had warned it was an “attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS” to allow commercial businesses to run parts of the health and social services.

The judicial review into the proposal was expected to take place “as soon as possible” after Wednesday, coincidentally the day he died.

With Roger Penrose, Prof Hawking showed that Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes.

These results indicated that it was necessary to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics, the other great scientific development of the first half of the 20th century.

Stephen Hawking celebrates 50th year as Cambridge fellow

Prof Hawking celebrating 50 years as a fellow of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge

He also discovered that black holes should not be completely black, but should emit radiation and eventually evaporate and disappear – this is now called Hawking Radiation.

A Brief History Of Time has sold more than 10 million copies.

The University of Cambridge will open a book of condolence at Gonville and Caius College.

Redmayne said in a statement: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

“My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”

The following two tabs change content below.

The Press Association

News from the Press Association - the national news agency for the UK and Ireland

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
Wilf
14th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Total genius. I was one of a great many who bought his book A History of Time about 30 years ago. Didnt understand much as I am thick but loved it. Been fascinated by his theories about Black Holes and the Universe ever since. he was so brave as well with his disability-what a hero-should have been knighted years ago-RIP
Yodama
16th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes Wilf, why was he not Knighted? Maybe we should call for a posthumous knighthood!
Loved his sense of humour especially in the Big Bang Theory series.
He will be missed.
Wilf
16th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Agreed Yodama-it is an outrange-every other tinpot mandarin in London is knighted. here is a chap who spent his life totally disabled yet changed our understanding of the universe and he is not knighted? outrageous!
Yodama
14th Mar 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I would wish for great minds like Professor Hawking to never die, so very, very sad and a huge loss to the scientific community.
Who will take his place?
[deleted]
14th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yodama
16th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Another great brain that I admire Jorid, also not a young man, is Professor Michio Kaku. He manages to simplify complex theories so that the average person can grasp some of the wonders of the Universe and the future.
[deleted]
17th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yodama
17th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I hope you enjoy his book jorid, I also find him on Youtube, he gives lectures and interviews. He makes physics popular and interesting for those who have an interest.
I have a few of his books.
He may grow on you as he has grown on me.
[deleted]
18th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yodama
18th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
My thoughts on AI.
Artificial Intelligence poses a question as to whether we should embrace it or fear and reject it.
Hypothetically, we humans are nothing but biological computers, Are we advanced AI, fuelled by this energy we call the "soul."? It arrives at either conception or birth and leaves when we die leaving the computer without a driver.

Will AI ever have a soul in the future, and will it become upgraded copies of ourselves?
Perhaps we evolved to become what we are today from AI that was upgraded?

We the created have become the creators, trying to make copies of ourselves.
If it is within our genes to do so, are we created from a creator who was created just as we were, with each spurt of evolution updating the model each time?.

Are we part of an experiment...watched from a distance by those who created us?
Too many imponderables to ponder on, even minds such as Einstein and Hawking were struggling to find the answers.
Who then will be able to give us the answers that we are so desperate to learn?
As you so rightly say... not in our lifetime, so.........we should eat as much chocolate and cake as possible and keep scratching our heads.
[deleted]
19th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!