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Remembering Stephen Hawking

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There’s not many physicists like Stephen Hawking. On March 14, 2018, the 76-year-old Stephen Hawking passed away.

Hawking was known for multiple accomplishments in his field, such as predicting that black holes emit radiation (Hawking radiation), proving some singularity theorems (by saying a singularity created the universe), and proposing the universe has no boundaries.

According to Space.com, Hawking was born in January 8, 1942, about 300 years after the death of astronomer Galileo Galilei.

The young adult Stephen Hawking went to University College in Oxford, United Kingdom. Despite his father wanting him to study medicine, Stephen Hawking focused on physics. Later, he would go to Cambridge to study cosmology, which, according to Stanford’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy, is the study of the physical universe.

During his studies at college, he was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This is the same disease that baseball player Lou Gehrig dealt with in his lifetime. This disease weakens the muscles, which impairs several body functions, such as speech, movement, or even weight.

When he was diagnosed in 1963, Hawking was not expected to live longer than two years. Fortunately, he proved them wrong. Despite the odds given to him, he was able to complete his education to a Ph.D. and work even more on his theories about the universe.

As the years passed with his illness, Hawking became less mobile and started having trouble speaking. To top it all off, in 1985, he lost his voice after having a tracheotomy (an incision in the windpipe) to help him breathe. He managed to scrape through with a wheelchair and a speech-generating device that allowed him to select words through cheek movements.

Some of Stephen Hawking’s accomplishments throughout his life were being inducted into Cambridge’s Royal Society (a worldwide science league) in 1974, appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge (another famous position) five years later.

Additionally, Hawking suggested the universe will have an ending, believed Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity was united with quantum theory, and theorized that black holes emit radiation. However, in 2014, he rewrote the theory he made and even said “there are no black holes.”

In addition to this theories, he has received many awards from the science community, from the Albert Einstein Award and Hughes Medal from the Royal Society he joined, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, and the coveted Fundamental Physics Prize (Breakthrough Prize) in 2013 to

Hawking wasn’t just a physicist and cosmologist; he was also an author. He mainly wrote books about the universe, which isn’t surprising, given his background. Some of these books include A Brief History in Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, and The Grand Design.

As a closing note, Hawking is said to have noted, “However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”

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Remembering Stephen Hawking