Physicist Stephen Hawking, who died on Wednesday morning at the age of 76, was the most famous British scientist of our time, a genius who dedicated his life to the discovery of Universe’s secrets.
Stephen Hawking died at his home in Cambridge, on Wednesday morning. “We are deeply saddened by the death of our beloved father” Lucy, Robert and Tim – Stephen Hawking’s children – told the media.
“He was a great scientist and a wonderful man, who’s work and legacy will live on for many years” Stephen Hawking’s family said. The family also praised Stephen Hawking’s intelligence and humor, who inspired millions.
Born on January 8, 1942, Stephen Hawking was convinced that physicist is his field. But fate played a nasty trick on Stephen. Stephen Hawking was, for 50 years, immobilized to a wheelchair and was able to speak only through a voice synthesizer.
Patients diagnosed with Stephen Hawking’s disease live, on average, three years after the diagnosis and only 10% of them manage to live more than 10 years. Even so, Stephen Hawking lived much longer than the doctors gave him.
Professor Stephen Hawking urged all physical challenged people to focus on the things they can do and to not regret the things they can’t do.
Stephen Hawking was, however, far from being a normal man, a man with a brilliant mind. He was fascinated by the nature of the Universe, the way it formed and how might it end. ” My purpose is simple. It is to fully understand the Universe, why it is like it is and why it exists” Stephen Hawking said.
Much of his scientific work was focused on unifying the theory of relativity – the nature of space and time – and quantum physics – the way the smallest particles in the Universe behave – to explain how the Universe was created and to understand the principles that govern the Universe.
Stephen Hawking: Life on Earth, in danger
In 1974, at the age of 32, Stephen Hawking became the youngest member of the Royal Society, the most prestigious scientific association in the United Kingdom.
In 1979 he was named the head of the Mathematics Department of the Cambridge University, before moving on to Oxford to study astronomy and theoretical cosmology, the same position Sir Isaac Newton held in the 17th century.
Hawking tested the gravitational theories of Sir Isaac Newton in 2007 when, at the age of 67, he took part of a flight under imponderability conditions.
At that time, Stephen Hawking said that he wanted to prove that physical handicap is not an obstacle to create things and to encourage interest for space.
“I think that the human race is without future if we don’t travel in space” Hawking said.
“I believe life on Earth is risking of being destroyed by a disaster such as global warming, nuclear war, genetically modified virus and other dangers” Hawking said.
“The chances for a catastrophe to take place this year are small, but the risk follows an ascending trajectory. There is no doubt that these things will happen in one thousand or a few thousand years from now” Stephen Hawking said years ago.
Mankind might find its salvation in space. He believed that mankind will need another century until its ready to send human colonies in space.
“We won’t stop making progress so we should recognize the dangers and learn to control them. I’m an optimist and I think we’re going to be able to do that” Stephen Hawking also said.
Recently, Stephen Hawking said that artificial intelligence might contribute to erradicate sickness and poverty but warned about potential dangers. ” Success in artificial intelligence might be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Besides benefits, artificial intelligence might also bring dangers such as powerful autonomous weapons or new ways for a small group to subjugate others” Stephen Hawking said two years ago, in 2016, at the inauguration of an artificial intelligence research center at the Cambridge University.
In 2015, Stephen Hawking said that if artificial intelligence is not going to conquer the world, then this is going to be done by an advanced alien civilization.
“If Aliens decide to visit us, then the result will be the same as when Columbus arrived in America and this was not beneficial for Native Americans” Hawking added.
“Such advanced civilizations might be nomad, searching to conquer and colonize the plants they find” Stephen Hawking told El Paris.
Professor Hawking was working on a big scientific project regarding searching for alien life with the help of two of the most powerful telescopes in the world. The telescopes analyze one million of the closest stars to Earth, with the hope of finding signals or traces left in space by intelligent life forms from other planets.
The scientists who are part of this project that received a funding of $100 million are also researching the center of our Galaxy – the Milky Way – along with the centers of the closest 100 galaxies in search for radio waves that might be broadcasted by Alien civilizations.
Stephen Hawking – Pop culture and politics
Stephen Hawking’s genius brought him world fame. The book “A Brief History of Time” is one of the most successful books in the scientific literature and, in this book, Stephen Hawking tried to explain the fundamental theories of the Universe for everybody to understand.
The book was followed by another one – The Universe in a Nutshell – released in 2001.
In 2007, Stephen Hawking published a children’s book – George’s Secret Key to the Universe – along with his daughter Lucy. In this book the authors tried to explain the way the Solar System, asteroids, and black holes work.
The book “The Grand Design”, published in 2010, caused a huge scandal among religious leaders because Stephen Hawking said that scientists don’t need a divine force to explain the appearance of the Universe.
Hawking also made his presence in pop culture with special appearances in productions such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, and his voice was included in songs released by Pink Floyd.
Besides science, Stephen Hawking was also vocal about politics. So, before the Brexit referendum in 2016, Hawking warned British political leaders about the dangers of leaving the European Union.
Stephen Hawking took advantage of every minute of his life
Stephen Hawking married Jane Wilde in 1965, and they had three children. Stephen and Jane separated after 25 years, and Hawking married his former nurse, Elaine Mason, but this marriage also fell apart.
The love story between Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde was put on the big screen in the 2014 movie “The Theory of Everything”. Actor Eddie Redmayne played Stephen Hawking and the role brought him an Oscar award.
Stephen Hawking was also the subject of a documentary released in 2013 called “Hawking”, in which he talked about his opinions about life. ” Because every day might be the last, I want to take advantage of every minute” Hawking said.
Professor Hawking was an avid supporter of man’s right to die and said that he would choose assisted suicide if he were in great pain or if he becomes a burden for his family.
Today we lost one of the most brilliant minds of our time, probably the smartest man alive after Albert Einstein – although some people claim Hawking was smarter than Einstein.
All that’s left to do is take our hat off, look at the stars, and thank Stephen Hawking for the huge contribution he made to mankind.
Rest in peace, Professor Stephen Hawking!