Famed physicist Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned British physicist and Cambridge Professor, has passed away at the age of 76. Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said he died peacefully at his Cambridge home in the early hours of Wednesday.

“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 humor inspired people across the world,” said his family, in a statement.

“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.”

In 1963 at the age of 21, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative motor neuron condition. Doctors expected him to live for just two more years, but because his form of the disease progressed slower than usual, he survived another 55.

His condition eventually left him almost completely paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. He was largely unable to speak, relying instead on a voice synthesizer controlled by small facial movements.

Hawking’s work brought together several fields of physical theory: gravitation, cosmology, quantum theory, thermodynamics, and information theory. In 1974, his Hawking radiation theory proposed that black holes radiated energy while gradually fading away to nothing, or, in the case of primordial black holes, exploded.

Hawking’s work with mathematician Sir Roger Penrose showed that Einstein’s theory of relatively implies that the universe must have begun as a singularity. In 1979, he became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, following in the footsteps of Sir Isaac Newton.

Hawking’s fame grew after the publishing of his book, A Brief History of Time, in 1988. It sold 10 million copies and was translated into 40 languages.

The scientist has appeared in a number of TV shows over the years, including Star Trek, The Simpsons, and The Big Bang Theory. But it was an Oscar-winning portrayal by Eddie Redmayne in 2014’s The Theory of Everything that cemented his position as the world’s most famous modern physicist.

In recent years, Hawking had joined Elon Musk in voicing his concern over the dangers of unregulated artificial intelligence and the use of offensive autonomous weapons. He was also involved in projects that searched for extraterrestrial life and Earth-like planets.

In a 2011 interview with the Guardian on the subject of God and the afterlife, Hawking said: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

“I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”

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darkzelda

TS Evangelist
Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan were in part, the reason why I ended studying Physics, as a child their books and the way they look our world fascinated me. It's a shame they are both dead now.
 
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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Despite many attempts I was never able to get into one of his public appearances. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a number of discussions about his theories, the latest of which is his thoughts about what existed "before" the big bang. Hopefully some of his mentors will continue this work. His explanation about certain particles being able to escape black holes was amazing. Personally, I think several of his books should be considered minatory reading for every Physic's student. His presence in the Physic's field will be sorely missed .......

Most fascinating was that he was born on Galileo's birthday and died on Einstein's birthday .......
 

VitalyT

Russ-Puss
TechSpot Elite
The world has lost the great big bang specialist. I wonder now, what his headstone is gonna say.
 

TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
One of the great human beings of the 20th and 21st century. His work opened up a LOT of eyes that didn't want to be opened.

He'll be missed.
 
Saying this might get me in trouble, but we'll see...

Honestly, I don't really feel anything regarding his passing. He's lucky to have lived that long, and some normal people don't even reach that age. It is also a great thing that someone like him was allowed to be and was capable of being in the scientific field.
That being said, I always was of the opinion that his work was praised more than it deserved because of his physical condition. Some of it, particularly regarding Aliens and God, were nothing more than unfounded and short-sighted opinions masquerading as science.

RIP Hawking.
 

erickmendes

TS Evangelist
I believe that science may one day validate many religious claims, like the existence of afterlife, we just don't have the devices to do so now.

Having said it, I belive Hawking may continue his great work now in another dimension.
 

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
I believe that science may one day validate many religious claims, like the existence of afterlife, we just don't have the devices to do so now.

Having said it, I belive Hawking may continue his great work now in another dimension.
"on the subject of God and the afterlife, Hawking said: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”"

According to himself, he ceased to exist, although he has no proof to make that claim. He is true about the brain stopping, but he knew nothing about the soul apparently in all his imaginations.
 

Vulcanproject

TS Evangelist
The guy was a rock star not a scientist. He was so recognisable he would get swamped at public appearances, everyone packed into the venue hanging onto every word he had to say. Incredible and wonderful.
 
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Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member
The world will be a worse place without him on it. RIP, Stephen.

I think Stephen himself would agree, though, that he lived a long and full life - 76 years is a long life for anybody, let alone someone with LG's Disease. I'm glad he was able to make his mark before passing. Hopefully his efforts were not in vain.
 

sunseeker007

TS Rookie
I believe that science may one day validate many religious claims, like the existence of afterlife, we just don't have the devices to do so now.

Having said it, I belive Hawking may continue his great work now in another dimension.
Read Journey of Souls and you may believe in the afterlife! Very scientific.