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Stephen Hawking dies at the age of 76

Image: www.caltech.edu

By Sujan Dahal

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change” -Stephen Hawking

Exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo, on January 8, 1942, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicist, cosmologist Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford, United Kingdom. He is famous for his groundbreaking works in physics, cosmology , general relativity and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes. Unfortunately, on March 14, 2018 in Cambridge, United Kingdom, he died.


His book, “A Brief History of Time”, appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. His other famous books are “Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays”, “The illustrated A Brief History of Time”, “The universe in a Nutshell”, “A Briefer History of Time (with Leonard Mlodinow), “The Grand Design(with Leonard Mlodinow). Apart from this, he has written some books for children and kids too. “George’s Secret Key to the Universe (with Lucy Hawking)”, “George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt(with Luck Hawking)”, “George and the Big Bang(with Luck Hawking) are some of them.


In 1963, when Hawking was 21, he was diagnosed of motor neurone disease( also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease). He loosed his abilities of writing, speaking, walking and all those, what a normal man can do. Later, The cost of care for his health was funded by American Foundation. In 1986, from Walter Woltosz, CEO of Words Plus, he received a computer program called “Equalizer”, invented for one suffering from ALS. Further, Elaine Mason’s husband, David, a computer engineer adapted a small computer it to his wheelchair through which he started communicating to other peoples.


  • In collaboration with Penrose, he extended the singularity theorem concepts first explored in his doctoral thesis.
  • He postulated “The Second law of black hole dynamics” in 1970. His first book “The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time” written with George Ellis, was published in 1973.
  • In late 1970’s, He presented his results which shows that black hole emits radiation, called Hawking Radiation. He was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society(FRS) and he was the youngest scientist to become Fellow.
  • He was also elected as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
  • In 1985, he published papers on “arrows of time” which was later drawback by Raymond Laflamme.
  • His book “The Brief History of Time” was published in April 1988 in the US and in June in the UK.The book was translated into many languages and ultimately sold an estimated of 9 million copies.
  • Hawking and Penrose delivered a series of Six lectures that were published in 1996 as “The Nature of Space and Time”.
  • His best work was about relating general relativity with quantum mechanics.
  • In 2006, along with Thomas Hertog at CERN and Jim Hartle, he developed a theory of “Top Down Cosmology”.
  • He had supervised 39 successful PhD students
  • On July 2015, Hawking helped launch Breakthrough initiatives, an effort to search for extraterrestrial life.

He died on Wednesday early morning on 14th March 2018 at the age of 76. Dr. Albert Einstein also died at the age of 76. Hawking and Newton both were born in the month of “January” and died in the month of “March”. March 14 is celebrated at pi-day as Einstein birthday falls on the same day. Now, this day is also condolence as hawking death.

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