Physicist Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Modern cosmology’s brightest star and author of A Brief History of Time has died, says family member

Professor Stephen Hawking.


The physicist and author of A Brief History of Time has died, a family member has said.

He was 76.

His family released a statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning confirming his death at his home in Cambridge.

Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a 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 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 for ever.”

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The famed mathematician has been in and out of the hospital.

Hawking gained renown for his work on black holes, and has remained active despite being diagnosed at 21 with ALS, (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), an incurable degenerative disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

For some years, Hawking has been almost entirely paralysed, and he communicates through an electronic voice synthesiser activated by his fingers.

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF STEPHEN HAWKING 

Stephen William Hawking (8 January 1942 – 13 March 2018) is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. 

His scientific works include a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called “Hawking radiation”.

Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. 

He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Hawking was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. 

In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. 

He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009 and achieved commercial success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.

Hawking had a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that gradually paralysed him over the decades. He was still able to communicate using a single cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating device.

Stephen Hawking died on March 14, 2018, at the age of 76. 

Honours

Companion of Honour (CH)
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)

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