RIP Stephen Hawking: Eminent scientist Stephen Hawking, known for his groundbreaking contribution to cosmology, especially black holes and relativity passed away today. He was 76. Stephen breathed his last on Wednesday. Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim in a statement confirmed the news of his demise.
Hawking became the face of science genius with his extraordinary contribution to the field and in some ways, he was the inheritor of Albert Einstein’s mantle of the genius-as-celebrity, Associated Press wrote. His work on theoretical physics had earned him innumerous laurels and his cosmic brilliance was something which very few could comprehend.
Here are 5 things about Hawking you probably didn’t know:
1.Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at the age of 21 and since then, has been forced to remain on the wheelchair and used a computerized voice system to communicate. According to Live Science, a person diagnosed with this disease has a life expectancy of three years from its diagnosis. Only 5 per cent live 20 years or more. But for Hawking, genetics could have played major role in his survival.
2. One of Hawking’s biggest discoveries included black holes. Stephen Hawking showed Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity had suggested space and time had a definitive beginning and end. This is how he came to a conclusion that the black holes aren’t black but they emit radiation and then disappear eventually.
3. Stephen Hawking has authored over a dozen books but A Brief History of Time was a record-breaker. In 1988, Hawking published a book which targetted non-scientists to help them explain the fundamentals of how the universe had started and whether it will end. It set a record by spending more than five years on The Sunday Times list.
4. This comes as no surprise that the eminent scientist holds several accolades. Among others, Hawking holds 12 honorary degress. He was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1982. In 2009, he was honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The scientist was also named a Fellow of The Royal Society.
5. Besides his scientific prowess, Hawking had also expressed concerns about the future of humanity. He said that the population can exhaust the energy by over-consumption and turn it Earth into a ball of fire.