Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking RIP

One of the greatest scientists of all time died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning at the age of 76.

After developing Motor Neurone disease in his 20s Professor Stephen Hawking spent most of his life in a wheelchair yet from that wheelchair his mind roamed the Universe as that of few others could. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics.

He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing - a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation.

In a statement his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said:

"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.

"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years."

They praised his "courage and persistence" and said 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 forever."

A book of condolence is due to be opened at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge, where Prof Hawking was a fellow.

Professor Hawking was reportedly offered a knighthood in the late 1990s but turned it down because of a disagreement with the government of the day about the funding of science.

Prof Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, who was at university with Prof Hawking when he was diagnosed, said his friend had

"amazing willpower and determination".

"Even mere survival would have been a medical marvel, but of course he didn't just survive," he said.

"He became one of the most famous scientists in the world."

Prime Minister Theresa May called him a "brilliant and extraordinary mind" and "one of the great scientists of his generation". She added: "His courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. "His legacy will not be forgotten."

On a lighter note, he appeared on a number of popular television shows as himself, including "Red Dwarf," "The Big Bang Theory," and he was even the only person in the fifty year history of Star Trek to, in a manner of speaking, appear as himself.

I am sure Brian Cox is right that Stephen Hawking will still be remembered a thousand years from now.

Rest in Peace.

2 comments:

Jim said...

I remember seeing a documentary when he visited the set of star trek voyager, I thought it was brilliant, 7 of 9 (Gerry Ryan) was with him on the 'engineering' set, as they approached the 'warp drive', Prof Hawking had his wheel chair stop as he programmed his voice box to say "I'm working on that"

He was a brilliant man and an inspiration to us all. RIP Professor Stephen Hawking

Chris Whiteside said...

Indeed. He will really be missed.