Stephen Hawking, science’s brightest star died on 14th of March 2018 at the age of 76. His family has refused to reveal the cause of his death but claimed that he “died peacefully”.
Born in Oxford in on 8th January 1942 his family wasn’t very affluent, yet both his parents attended Oxford University. Although initially he initially wasn’t considered academically gifted Hawking soon developed an interest in Mathematics and chose to study it for his undergraduate course.
In 1955, Stephen Hawking wrote his thesis inspired by Roger Penrose’s theorem of a spacetime singularity in the center of black holes. It got approved in 1956. Moreover, Hawking received a research fellowship at Gonville and Caius College; he obtained his Ph.D. degree in applied mathematics and theoretical physics, specializing in general relativity and cosmology, in March 1966.
His essay titled “Black Holes” won the Gravity Research Foundation Award in January 1971.
In 1975, he was awarded both the Eddington Medal and the Pius XI Gold Medal, and in 1976 the Dannie Heineman Prize, the Maxwell Prize, and the Hughes Medal. He was appointed a professor with a chair in gravitational physics in 1977. The following year he received the Albert Einstein Medal and an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford.
Hawking doesn’t completely rule out the idea of a Creator, asking for A Brief History of Time “Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence?“In his early work, Hawking spoke of God in a metaphorical sense. In A Brief History of Time he wrote: “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God.” In the same book, he suggested that the existence of God was not necessary to explain the origin of the universe.
On 28 June 2009, as a tongue-in-cheek test of his 1992 conjecture that travels into the past is effectively impossible, Hawking held a party open to all, complete with hors-d’oeuvres and iced champagne, but publicised the party only after it was over so that only time-travellers would know to attend; as expected, nobody showed up to the party.
“Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny”, Stephen Hawking.