Today, sadness and shock swept across the world as tragic news of the death of one of the most extraordinary minds in the world surfaced.
Renowned theoretical physicist, scientist, cosmologist, astronomer, mathematician, author, and professor, Stephen Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in early hours of Wednesday, according to his family. He was only 76.
Despite being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease at the early age of 22 that left him wheelchair-bound and unable to speak without the use of a voice synthesizer, his rudimentary body did not stop his advanced mind from solving the great mysteries of the universe and roaming the cosmos from a wheelchair.
He was best known for his work with black holes, time and relativity as well as his popular book, A Brief History of Time, among others, that sold about 10 million copies – even when his book was hard to understand by those who are not familiar in the field. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics. He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing and the phenomenon was named the Hawking radiation.
He became more well-known outside of the academic world when he appeared in several hit TV shows and films like the The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons and Star Trek and took science from books and classrooms into pop culture and television. His life was dramatized in the 2014 film, The Theory of Everything, portrayed by Eddie Redmayne, which charted his rise to fame and relationship with his first wife.
In a memoir he wrote in 2013, he described how he felt as unfair and that his life was over when he was first diagnosed. However, he never thought he would be quietly satisfied with his life 50 years later.
Many started paying their tributes to Prof Hawking, along with videos, pictures as well as quotes from the brilliant mind –
His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure. Stephen Hawking, RIP 1942-2018. pic.twitter.com/nAanMySqkt
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) March 14, 2018
Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014 pic.twitter.com/FeR4fd2zZ5
— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2018
R.I.P. Stephen Hawking. Among his many profound contributions to this world was this simple sentiment: “It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.”
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) March 14, 2018
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”
— Pegg News (@simonpegg) March 14, 2018
RIP Stephen Hawking. Genuinely very sad to hear that. If you haven’t, read A Brief History of Time. It’ll make the world feel more amazing and beautiful and strange. It’ll also make you feel smart and stupid all at once.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 14, 2018
Words are unable to justify the brilliance of this man. His passing should not be seen as a halt in the universe but rather a reminder of his discoveries and the fact that it can be used for the advancement of the humankind.
Rest In Peace, Stephen Hawking.
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