Stephen Hawking was one of the most influential scientists of his generation. He created several theories including the one about black holes which he is most famous for.
When he died in 2018, several public figures and scientists paid tributes, applauding his brilliant work and the impact he had made on the scientific community
In an emotional tribute, UK astronomer Martin Rees said,
Soon after I enrolled as a graduate student at Cambridge University in 1964, I encountered a fellow student, two years ahead of me in his studies; he was unsteady on his feet and spoke with great difficulty,” said Martin Rees. “This was Stephen Hawking. He had recently been diagnosed with a degenerative disease, and it was thought that he might not survive long enough even to finish his PhD. But, amazingly, he lived on to the age of 76.
Even mere survival would have been a medical marvel, but of course he didn’t just survive. He became one of the most famous scientists in the world – acclaimed as a world-leading researcher in mathematical physics, for his best-selling books about space, time and the cosmos, and for his astonishing triumph over adversity.
“Tragedy struck Stephen Hawking when he was only 22. He was diagnosed with a deadly disease, and his expectations dropped to zero. He himself said that everything that happened since then was a bonus. And what a triumph his life has been.
“His name will live in the annals of science; millions have had their cosmic horizons widened by his bestselling books; and even more, around the world, have been inspired by a unique example of achievement against all the odds – a manifestation of amazing willpower and determination.”
Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about the brilliant scientist:
1. He believed in aliens. He also warned humans against contacting them as this could provoke an invasion on planet earth.
2. Hawking was an atheist. He never failed to voice his views about God and the afterlife..“Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” he wrote in his book The Grand Design. “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
3.He made several appearances in TV shows such as The Simpsons, StarTrek, and The Big Bang Theory.
4. For a man of such high intellect as Hawking, he was actually an average student in school. He once admitted he was lazy and thus didn’t get the best grades.
5. His schoolmates nicknamed him ‘Einstein’ seeing the potentials he possesed.
6. In 1963, he was diagnosed with ALS which gradually paralysed him over the years. Many thought he wouldn’t be alive for long but he surpassed their expectations and lived past the age of 70.
7. It was after he was diagnosed with ALS that he decided to concentrate more on his work and make the best out of the time he had left.
8. In 1998, Hawking gained the public’s attention when he released his popular science book A Brief History of Time.
9. There is a biopic about him titled The Theory Of Everything.
10.In addition to being a scientist, he was a prolific writer. A Brief History of Time spent several weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and sold over 10 million copies.