Stephen Hawking was a world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist known for his contributions to the study of black holes and the origin of the universe. Let’s take a look at life, work, and surprising facts about Stephen Hawkings, one of the greatest scientists in the world.
At a Glance: Life and Work of Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England, to Frank and Isobel Eileen Hawking and showed an early aptitude for mathematics and science. Hawking attended University College, Oxford, and later received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics and theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge, specializing in general relativity and cosmology.
Despite being diagnosed with motor neuron disease (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) at the age of 21, Hawking remained active in his research and continued to make significant contributions to the field of physics. He developed a theory about the origin of the universe, known as the “Big Bang” theory, and made significant contributions to the black holes study and their properties.
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Hawking was also known for his work on quantum-theory research into the origin of the universe. He also made significant contributions to the study of quantum mechanics and the unification of physical laws.
In addition to his scientific work, Hawking was also a popular science communicator, writing numerous books on physics and cosmology that were aimed at a general audience. His book “A Brief History of Time” became a best-seller and helped to bring the concepts of physics to a wider audience.
Hawking received numerous accolades for his work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, in 2009. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and held professorships at the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology. Hawking passed away on March 14, 2018, at the age of 76. Despite his physical limitations, he remained active in his research and continued to make important contributions to the field of physics until the end of his life.
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Stephen Hawkings surprising facts
10 Lesser Know Facts about Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking was one of the world’s most famous scientists who made groundbreaking discoveries about the universe. He was a true genius and a great inspiration for many. But there are many lesser-known facts about Stephen Hawking that may surprise you. Here are 10 lesser-known facts about Stephen Hawking that you may not have heard before.
Hawking was an average student
He did not have outstanding academic results in his school and always earned average marks in exams. But the fact that he had no shortage of talent was well realized by his school teachers. They were very optimistic about the fact that he would become a very famous person in the future. In childhood he was called ‘Einstein.’
Participated in Oxford Rowing Team
Stephen Hawking often suffered from depression in his childhood. According to biographer Kristine Larsen, Hawking did not have many friends at school. Even during his 1st year at Oxford, he suffered from severe loneliness. To get rid of this unhappy situation, he joined the university’s rowing team. Being physically weak, his job was to hold the rope. He was very popular on the team. Everyone called him ‘brave.’
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Experienced space travel
At the age of 65, Stephen Hawking boarded a plane specialized to experience zero gravity. The Zero Gravity Corporation of the United States has a special aircraft that allows anyone to experience space travel from Earth for a certain amount of money. This flight briefly creates a zero-gravity environment at several levels. It is just like traveling in space. However, Stephen Hawking was not traveling as a hobby. Its main purpose was to make people more enthusiastic about space.
Hawking believed in the existence of aliens
Stephen Hawking has never denied the existence of intelligent aliens. In 2008, Hawking was invited as a speaker at a function organized to mark the 50th anniversary of NASA. In this event entitled Why We Should Go Into Space, Hawking supported the existence of aliens with very strong facts and data.
He was not a big fan of biology
Hawking loved mathematics from childhood. However, his father wanted Hawking to study medicine. But he never took biology very seriously. Although he had a strong desire for mathematics, he chose physics as his major because mathematics was not a major subject at Oxford.
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Stephen Hawkings life work
Hawking lost the black hole bet
He lost a bet once in his life. That, too, is his favorite subject about the black hole. In 1997, Hawking had an informal bet with another physicist, John Preskill, about the cosmology of black holes. Stephen’s friend, the theoretical physicist John Preskill, somewhat disagreed with Stephen’s ideas about the origin and properties of the black hole. Later these two physicists threw a kind of bet on each other.
Later, in a seminar around 2004, Hawking admitted the shortcomings of his theory. He frankly admits that he lost the bet.
He was a children’s book author
Another amazing fact about Hawking is that he is the author of children’s fiction. He co-wrote George’s Secret Key to the Universe with his daughter Lucy Hawking, a juvenile science fiction novel. The story of this book, published in 2007, is about a technology-loving teenager named George.
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In 1985, Hawking encountered a grave health issue in the form of a life-threatening infection. Consequently, he had to undergo an emergency surgery that, while successful in saving his life, left him unable to speak. To aid him in communication, he was presented with a special computer that could “speak” for him, which he was able to operate by merely moving a muscle in his cheek.
Appeared in an American sitcom, The Big Bang Theory
In 2012, Hawking made a guest appearance in The Big Bang Theory TV show. He appeared in season five, episode 21, which was named The Hawking Excitation. He was seen giving an extended guest lecture at the California Institute of Technology.
Doctors gave him only two years to live
Everyone knows that Hawking was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. Usually, a patient with the disease can live five years after diagnosis. And doctors told him that he would live two years. But, Stephen Hawking survived more than five decades after the disease. He survived through complex management and worked relentlessly for the welfare of science.
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Stephen Hawking was an incredible scientist and a remarkable person. From his work on black holes to his groundbreaking theories on the origin of the universe, Hawking’s impact on the world of science will continue to be felt for generations to come. These ten lesser-known facts about Stephen Hawking shed light on the life of one of the most remarkable scientists of our time.
Today January 8, 2023, is Hawking’s 81st birthday. Even though he is no longer with us, his legacy will live on through his work and his teachings.
Source: United News of Bangladesh