"The Impossible Genius on Motorized Chair": Stephen Hawkings, Obituary by Applancer
Mar 15, 2018 Posted / 4756 Views
Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76, but his revolutionary findings, contributions to the understanding of the physics and the geometry of the universe will enlighten our paths every day.
In a statement that validated his loss at home in Cambridge, Hawking’s children 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. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world."
When shortly after his 21st birthday, Hawking was diagnosed with an unspecified incurable disease, which was then classified as the deadly degenerative motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, everybody around him succumbed. But he was centered on something much bigger, one that would make him immortal.
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Soon afterward the discovery of his disease, he set his apprehensions on some of the most important problems concerning the physical nature of the universe. Nobody even dared to think, what would happen next and in no time he accomplished exceptional successes against all the critical physical disabilities that were ailing him. It felt that he had made his decision to defy the medical opinion. From there on, he managed to live another 55 years.
Hawking had an academic background, however not directly in mathematics or physics, but his father was a specialist in tropical diseases, and his mother was a free-thinking radical. It could have been his family that greatly influenced him to resist all the odds.
Born in Oxford and educated at St Albans school, he won a scholarship to study physics at University College, Oxford. He was acknowledged as remarkably intelligent by his tutors but also the one who did not take his work seriously. Nevertheless, he decided to proceed his career in physics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, intending to study under the distinguished cosmologist Fred Hoyle. But Hoyle was unable to take him, the next person available was Dennis Sciama. This proved fortuitous, as Sciama went on to become a notably spurring personality in British cosmology and did the same for Hawkings too.
It could be the fact that living in the shadow of death inspires you the most to live. The early diagnosis of his terminal disease enkindled a newfound sense of purpose in this Impossible Genius. Hawking was using crutches in the 1960s, but long fought the use of a wheelchair.
Now came the time for Hawking’s first major breakthrough in 1970, when he and Roger Penrose applied the mathematics of black holes to the universe and showed that a singularity, a region of infinite curvature in spacetime, lay in our distant past: the point from which came the big bang.
Penrose was even able to communicate with Hawking even as the latter’s speech barely understandable. He felt that Hawking had an affirmative determination not to let anything get in his way. “He thought he didn’t have long to live, and he really wanted to get as much as he could done at that time.”
In 1974 Hawking brought on quantum theory to demonstrate that black holes should emit heat and eventually pop out of existence. His proposal that black holes radiate heat agitated one of the most dramatic debates in modern cosmology. Hawking contended that if a black hole could evaporate, all the information that fell inside over its lifetime would be lost forever. It repudiated one of the most fundamental laws of quantum mechanics, and plenty of physicists dissented. However, despite all odds, he was there to prove his point.
Some of his most controversial comments are about religious beliefs. In his 2010 book, Grand Design, he confessed that he believes that God was not required to set the universe working. He is survived by his three children, from his first marriage to Jane Wilde, and three grandchildren.
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