Stephen Hawking; Modern science's father dies at age of 76

By Bishal Deep Basnet on Mar 14,2018 - 18:30

Stephen Hawking, the biggest star of the science world, who helped shape modern cosmology, has died today at the age of 76. 

His family released a statement in the morning hours today confirming his death. He died at his home, in Cambridge.

Hawking's 3 children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in the statement:

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 humor 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.

Hawking wasn't just a brilliant mind, he was a great person who had quite the sense of humor among all his colleagues and family. 

Hawking was estimated to live for only 2 more years when he was 21. Doctors said that he had no chance of surviving. But Hawking's disease didn't bring him down for another 50 years. 

He had to struggle with the disease to keep his life stable though. And while his life may have had its own difficulties, Hawking always found ways to make peace with it and move along having giggles.


Stephen Hawking's story

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Stephen Hawking was quite the rebellious student. In his final exams at Oxford, Hawking came borderline between a first and second class degree. He was seen as a difficult student, so his told his viva examiners that if they gave him a first, he would move to Cambridge to pursue his Ph.D. But if he was to be awarded a second, he threatened to stay at Oxford. And this is how he got the first degree.

People find their own light at the end of the tunnel in some way. For Hawking, the early diagnosis of his terminal disease, and witnessing the death from leukemia of a boy he knew in hospital, ignited a fresh sense of purpose. “Although there was a cloud hanging over my future, I found, to my surprise, that I was enjoying life in the present more than before. I began to make progress with my research,” he once said. Embarking on his career in earnest, he declared:

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.

He began to use crutches in the 1960s, but long fought the use of a wheelchair. When he finally relented, he became notorious for his wild driving along the streets of Cambridge, not to mention the intentional running over of students’ toes and the occasional spin on the dance floor at college parties.


Stephen Hawking's Breakthroughs

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Hawking’s first major breakthrough came in 1970, when he and Roger Penroseapplied the mathematics of black holes to the entire universe and showed that a singularity, a region of infinite curvature in spacetime, lay in our distant past: the point from which came the big bang.

In 1974 he drew on quantum theory to declare that black holes should emit heat and eventually pop out of existence. For normal black holes, the process is not a fast one, it taking longer than the age of the universe for a black hole the mass of the sun to evaporate. But near the ends of their lives, mini-black holes release heat at a spectacular rate, eventually exploding with the energy of a million one-megaton hydrogen bombs. Miniature black holes dot the universe, Hawking said, each as heavy as a billion tonnes, but no larger than a proton.

His proposal that black holes radiate heat stirred up one of the most passionate debates in modern cosmology. Hawking argued that if a black hole could evaporate into a bath of radiation, all the information that fell inside over its lifetime would be lost forever. It contradicted one of the most basic laws of quantum mechanics, and plenty of physicists disagreed. Hawking came round to believing the more common, if no less baffling explanation, that information is stored at the black hole’s event horizon, and encoded back into radiation as the black hole radiates.

After this, Hawking was featured in some documentaries. Hawking is also known for his talks on time-travel, and how one can travel to the future by speeding at the nearly the speed of light. Or by orbiting a black hole. Black holes have always been an object of mystery to scientists, and Hawking opened some doors to this topic. 

Tags -  Science , Stephen Hawking , Death