Stephen Hawking is a well known,well respected and an inspirational scientist, who many look up to. He was revolutionary in many fields of science and has a long lasting legacy. But what’s really behind this genius, how did he survive motor neurone disease for so long and how many flaws did he really have
Stephen Hawking was born on the 8th of January 1942, in Oxford, England, to loving parents, Isobel and Frank Hawking. His birthday was no big occasion, he was born in a hospital like me or you. Interestingly his birthday just happened to be on the 300th anniversary of the death of Galileo, a sense of pride for Hawking for many years to come.
Stephen Hawking first went to school at the Byron House School in London. He was by far one of the least academic students at the school and failed to learn how to read whilst there
In 1950 the family moved to St Albans.The family was considered highly intelligent. Although Frank and Isobel both attended university the Hawking family were poor and lived in a shabby and under maintained house. Hawking was still not very successful when it came to academics. Within time, he began to show a liking to scientific subjects and decided to read mathematics at university.
Hawking began university at oxford college at the age of 17.He was bored, lonely and found the academic work easy. A change happened during his second and third year at uni. He changed into a popular, energetic and smart college member, interested in music and science fiction
Hawking’s first year as a doctoral student was difficult. He found his training in mathematics not a good fit for work in general relativity and cosmology. A few years later he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Upon hearing this news Hawking fell into a depression. However his disease progressed more slowly than doctors had predicted and although Hawking had difficulty walking and his speech was almost impossible to understand, he returned to his study later that year. Hawking started developing a reputation for brilliance in the science field and this was proved further when he publicly challenged the work of famous scientists before him, publicly.
When Hawking began his graduate studies, there was much debate in the physics industry about the theories of the creation of the universe. In a bid to put this debate to bed, Hawking developed his own theory on this topic in 1965.
Later on In his work Hawking extended the singularity theorem (a certain theorem developed by Einstein where certain light rays come from a region with infinite curvature). He also put out the idea that the universe might have started as a singularity. His essay on this topic was the runner-up in the 1968 Gravity Research Foundation competition.In 1970 he published further “proof” that if the universe obeys the general theory of relativity then it must have begun as a singularity.
Hawking returned to Cambridge college in 1975 to a more senior role, as a reader in gravitational physics. The mid to late 1970s were a period of growing interest in black holes. Hawking was regularly interviewed for the papers and television.In 1975, he was awarded both the Eddington Medal and the Pius XI Gold Medal, and in 1976 the Dannie Heineman Prize.
Hawking continued his writings for a public audience, writing The Universe in a Nutshell in 2001 and A Briefer History of Time, which he wrote in 2005 with Leonard Mlodinow.
During his career, Hawking supervised 39 successful PhD students.At Cambridge University, retiring as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 2009. Despite suggestions that he might leave the United Kingdom, Hawking worked as director of research at the Cambridge University Department of Applied Mathematics.
In 2009, as a test of his statement that travel into the past is effectively impossible, Hawking held a party open to all but publicised the party only after it was over so that only time-travellers would know to attend; Nobody showed up to the party.
In 2015, Hawking said that not all information is lost when something enters a black hole and there might be a possibility to retrieve information from a black hole. Hawking did a lot of work on black holes throughout his career and was revolutionary particularly in this form of science.
Hawking died on the 14th of March 2018 at the age of 76, after living with motor neurone disease for more than 50 years when most people die of this disease after just three years.