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Published On: Wed, Mar 14th, 2018

Celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

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FILE-Physicist-Stephen-Hawking-Has-Died-Aged-76LONDON : Renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking, whose mental genius and physical disability made him a household name and inspiration across the globe, passed away at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning, a family spokesman said..
“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years,” said his children in a statement.
Celebrated British theoretical physicist  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 forever.”

Shortly after the sad news was announced, social media was flooded with a collection of Hawking’s most inspirational quotes and tributes to one of the world’s finest scientific minds. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was one of the first to remember Hawking.

“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.”
Hawking studied the laws of time and space, becoming an international celebrity in the process. Hawking was the author of several best-sellers, including “A Brief History of Time,” “Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays,” “The Universe in a Nutshell,” “The Grand Design” and “My Brief History.”

Hawking’s scholarly pursuits dealt with time – whether it has a beginning and end, what happens in a black hole and whether time warps are possible. “His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake,” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said. “But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and extraordinary mind – one of the great scientists of his generation. His courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten.”
NASA also saluted him, saying “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.”
When Cambridge University made his doctoral thesis “Properties of Expanding Universes” available to the public in Oct. 2017, “unprecedented interest” in the paper crashed the library’s website.
While studying time, he has survived the ravages of an incurable disease.
He was diagnosed with ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, at age 21. Though he was given only two years to live after his diagnosis, he lived more than 50 years.The motor neuron disease, formerly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, causes nerve cells to break down and die, according to Mayo Clinic.
Hawking’s early struggles with scholarship, love and a devastating diagnosis were chronicled in the award-winning 2014 biopic, “The Theory of Everything.” Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Hawking.
Because of ALS, Hawking was bound to wheelchair. After a tracheostomy in 1985, Hawking lost the ability to speak. He relied on an elaborate computer system to communicate, which he accessed with a switch he moved with his cheek. He also required constant care.
Hawking faced a number of health challenges and was described as “on the cusp of death” in April 2009, according to the Guardian. He had to cancel high-profile lectures because of his bad health.

Hawking first attended University College, Oxford. Though he wanted to study mathematics, he pursued physics instead because mathematics wasn’t offered at Oxford.Hawking gained a Ph.D. in cosmology at Cambridge University and studied as a fellow at Gonville and Caius College.
Pop star Katy Perry wrote to her 109million followers: There’s a big black hole in my heart hours before Pi day. Rest In Peace … See you in the next.” Jonathan Ross tweeted: “RIP Stephen Hawking. The world just dropped a lot of IQ points. And, he was a fun person. Very sad news.”
The illness gradually robbed him of mobility, leaving him confined to a wheelchair, almost completely paralysed and unable to speak except through his trademark voice synthesiser.
“His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world,” the family said. “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 forever.”
Born on January 8, 1942, Professor Hawking became one of the world’s most well-regarded scientists, earning comparisons with Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton.His work focused on bringing together relativity — the nature of space and time — and quantum theory — how the smallest particles in the universe behave — to explain the creation of the universe and how it is governed.  In 1974, he became one of the youngest fellows of Britain’s most prestigious scientific body, the Royal Society.
In 1979, he was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, where he had moved from Oxford University to study theoretical astronomy and cosmology.“My goal is simple,” he once said. “It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all. (With Agency Inputs).

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