Sunday, October 20, 2019

Biography of Stephen Hawking, Physicist and Cosmologist

Biography of Stephen Hawking, Physicist and Cosmologist Stephen Hawking (January 8, 1942–March 14, 2018) was a world-renowned cosmologist and physicist, especially esteemed for overcoming an extreme physical disability to pursue his groundbreaking scientific work. He was a bestselling author whose books made complex ideas accessible to the general public. His theories provided deep insights into the connections between quantum physics and relativity, including how those concepts might be united in explaining fundamental questions related to the development of the universe and the formation of black holes. Fast Facts: Stephen Hawking Known For:  Cosmologist, physicist, best-selling science writerAlso Known As:  Steven William HawkingBorn:  January 8, 1942 in Oxfordshire, EnglandParents: Frank and Isobel HawkingDied: March 14, 2018 in Cambridge, EnglandEducation: St Albans School, B.A., University College, Oxford, Ph.D., Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1966Published Works:  A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, The Universe in a Nutshell, On the Shoulders of Giants, A Briefer History of Time, The Grand Design, My Brief HistoryAwards and Honors:  Fellow of the  Royal Society, the  Eddington  Medal, the Royal Societys Hughes Medal, the  Albert Einstein  Medal, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Member of the  Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Wolf Prize in Physics, the Prince of Asturias Awards in Concord, the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society, the Michelson Morley Award of Case Western Reserve University, the Copley Medal of the  Ro yal SocietySpouses: Jane Wilde, Elaine MasonChildren: Robert, Lucy, TimothyNotable Quote: â€Å"Most of the threats we face come from the progress we’ve made in science and technology. We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognize the dangers and control them. I’m an optimist, and I believe we can.† Early Life Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxfordshire, England, where his mother had been sent for safety during the German bombings of London of World War II. His mother Isobel Hawking was an Oxford graduate and his father Frank Hawking was a medical researcher. After Stephens birth, the family reunited in London, where his father headed the division of parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research.  The family then moved to St. Albans so that Stephens father could pursue medical research at the nearby Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill. Education and Medical Diagnosis Stephen Hawking attended school in St. Albans, where he was an unexceptional student. His brilliance was much more apparent in his years at Oxford University. He specialized in physics and graduated with first-class honors despite his relative lack of diligence. In 1962, he continued his education at Cambridge  University, pursuing a Ph.D. in cosmology. At age 21, a year after beginning his doctoral program, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as motor neuron disease, ALS, and Lou Gehrigs disease). Given only three years to live, he has written that this prognosis helped motivate him in his physics work. There is little doubt that his ability to remain actively engaged with the world through his scientific work helped him persevere in the face of the disease. The support of family and friends were equally key. This is vividly portrayed in the dramatic film The Theory of Everything. The ALS Progresses As his illness progressed, Hawking became less mobile and began using a wheelchair. As part of his condition, Hawking eventually  lost his ability to speak, so he utilized a device capable of translating his eye movements (since he could  no longer utilize a keypad) to speak in a digitized voice. In addition to his keen mind within physics, he gained respect throughout the world as a science communicator. His achievements are deeply impressive on their own, but some of the reason he is so universally respected was his ability to accomplish so much while suffering the severe debility caused by ALS. Marriage and Children Just before his diagnosis, Hawking met Jane Wilde, and the two were married in 1965. The couple had three children before separating. Hawking later married Elaine Mason in 1995 and they divorced in 2006. Career as Academic and Author Hawking stayed on at Cambridge after his graduation, first as a research fellow and then as a professional fellow. For most of his academic career, Hawking served as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, a position once held by Sir Isaac Newton. Following a long tradition, Hawking retired from this post at age 67, in the spring of 2009, though he continued his research at the universitys cosmology institute. In 2008 he also accepted a position as a visiting researcher at Waterloo, Ontarios Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. In 1982 Hawking began work on a popular book on cosmology. By 1984 he had produced the first draft of  A Brief History of Time, which he published in 1988 after some medical setbacks. This book remained on the Sunday Times bestsellers list for 237 weeks. Hawkings even more accessible A Briefer History of Time was published in 2005. Fields of Study Hawkings major research was in the areas of theoretical cosmology, focusing on the evolution of the universe as governed by the laws of general relativity. He is most well-known for his work in the study of black holes. Through his work, Hawking was able to: Prove  that singularities are general features of spacetime.Provide  mathematical proof that information which fell into a black hole was lost.Demonstrate  that black holes evaporate through Hawking radiation. Death On March 14, 2018, Stephen Hawking died in his home in Cambridge, England. He was 76. His ashes were placed in London’s Westminster Abbey between the final resting places of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Legacy Stephen Hawking made large contributions as a scientist, science communicator, and as a heroic example of how enormous obstacles can be overcome. The  Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication is a prestigious award that recognizes the merit of popular science on an international level. Thanks to his distinctive appearance, voice, and popularity,  Stephen Hawking is often represented in popular culture. He made appearances on the television shows The Simpsons and Futurama, as well as having a cameo on Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1993. The Theory of Everything, a biographical drama film about Hawkings life, was released in 2014. Sources â€Å"Stephen Hawking.†Ã‚  Famous Scientists.Redd, Nola Taylor. â€Å"Stephen Hawking Biography (1942-2018).†Ã‚, Space, 14 Mar. 2018.â€Å"Stephen William Hawking.†Ã‚  Stephen Hawking (1942-2018).

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