• Delainey Smith

Stephen Hawking Dead at 76

The famous theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, has died at age 76 in his home, according to a family spokesman.

(Photo from Thenermag.com)

Stephen Hawking was considered to be the world’s greatest living scientist, according to CNN.

In 1963, at just 21-years-old, Hawking was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disease. This disease reduced Hawking’s bodily control to the flexing of a finger and eye movements, however his mental abilities were unharmed.

Despite being completely dependent on others or on technology for virtually everything, Hawking went on to become this generation’s leader in exploring black holes and gravity.

His work led to a turning a point in modern physics. In a complex calculation, Dr. Hawking discovered something new about black holes – they are not really black at all. According to the New York Times, this discovery even puzzled Hawking at first — that particles could be coming out of a black hole. “I wasn’t looking for them at all,” he recalled in an interview in 1978. “I merely tripped over them. I was rather annoyed.”

Fellow scientists were in awe over Hawking’s discovery. Dennis W. Sciama, a cosmologist and Dr. Hawking’s thesis adviser at Cambridge, called Hawking’s thesis in Nature “the most beautiful paper in the history of physics.

Dr. Hawking even noted in 2002, he wanted the formula for Hawking radiation to be engraved on his tombstone.

Stephen Hawking was an extraordinary scientist, cosmologist, astronomer, mathematician and author whose absence will be missed in the scientific community.

In an interview with the New York Times, Michio Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York stated “Not since Albert Einstein has a scientist so captured the public imagination and endeared himself to tens of millions of people around the world.”

Hawking’s three children and grandchildren expressed sorrow stating "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today," According to CNN Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said in a statement. "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 humor inspired people across the world."

They continued, "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."

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