Physics

Stephen Hawking, one of science’s greatest minds, has died aged 76


One of the greatest minds of our time, physicist and author Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, according to news reports from the United Kingdom.

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” Hawking’s family said in a statement released on Wednesday morning.

 

“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 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 for ever.”

Hawking, whose brilliant career in theoretical physics and cosmology spanned six decades, remained an active science communicator until his last days. Just earlier this month he mused about existence before the Big Bang with Neil deGrasse Tyson on his popular Star Talk show.

In 1963, at the age of 21 he was diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset motor neurone disease or ALS, and doctors gave him the grim prognosis of just a few more years of life. Instead, Hawking lived another 55 years, making stellar contributions to science for more than half a century.

As a graduate student of cosmology at the University of Cambridge, Hawking wrote his PhD thesis on the “properties of an expanding Universe”, mathematically demonstrating that the Big Bang theory was physically possible.

 

This was the very first step towards the singularity theorems he soon developed with mathematician Sir Roger Penrose, using the mathematics of black holes to prove that a universe which is ruled by the general theory of relativity must have begun as a singularity.

Tributes to the professor have also been streaming in on social media:

 (Jim Campbell/Aero-News Network/Wikimedia)

Updates to come.

 



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