Hailed by the Guardian as “the brightest star in the firmament of science, whose insights shaped modern cosmology and inspired global audiences in the millions”, the iconic British scientist Stephen Hawking passed away last March 14th. The date of his death coincidence with the date of birth of Albert Einstein. They both died at the age of 76. March 14th is also the Pi Day – an annual day for scientists and mathematicians around the world to celebrate the value of pi. Its an uncanny but interesting coincidence. Some persons on the internet think Stephen Hawking couldn’t have calculated a better day to die.
Stephen Hawking was one of the most influential physicist of the 20th century and perhaps the most celebrated icon of contemporary science. In his early twenties, he was diagnosed with ALS, a rare form of motor neuron disease. He was a doctoral student in cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time. Although physicians initially gave him just a few years to live, he went on to have an active career for decades. Still, he gradually lost use of his muscles, and for the last three years of his life communicated exclusively through a voice synthesizer. He was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.
“A brilliant and extraordinary mind and one of the great scientists of his generation”
“Hawking taught us that disabled people can change the world too”
Commentator at The Independent
“Prof Hawking had a unique ability to see through all the clutter in physics and get to the point. His whole story is a triumph over adversity and who inspired a lot of people, including me.”
Prof James Hartle
“Stephen was far from being the archetypal unworldly or nerdish scientist. His personality remained amazingly unwarped by his frustrations,” said Lord Rees, the astronomer royal, who praised Hawking’s half century of work as an “inspiring crescendo of achievement.”
“Prof Hawking had a tremendous sense of humour. He was a fun loving guy. Inside that shell, inside that body that was paralysed, was someone who was full of vigour, full of passion for life.”
Theoretical physicist, professor
By Rizwana Khan