Steven Hawking Passes at 76

World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at  the age of 76. Born in Oxford, England, Hawking became famous for his  work on black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity – his contributions  to science spanned more than four decades.

He also wrote many books on those subjects, including the 1988  best-seller "A Brief History of Time," which gives an account of the  creation of the universe. He was a professor of applied mathematics and  theoretical physics at Britain's Cambridge University for decades.  Hawking was married and divorced twice. He and his first wife had three  children. As a young man, Hawking began developing symptoms of Lou  Gehrig's disease. By his early 30s, the muscle-wasting condition had  left him almost completely paralyzed. He had to communicate through a  computer-generated voice synthesizer after a life-threatening bout with  pneumonia forced him to have a tracheotomy in 1985. He also struggled  with a multitude of other health problems as a result of the ALS.  Over the years, Hawking's acclaimed work won him countless prestigious  positions. He became one of the youngest Honorary Fellows of the Royal  Society of Arts and was a member of the Pontifical Academy of Science.  He also became a fellow of the Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge  and served as the distinguished research chair at Waterloo's Perimeter  Institute for Theoretical Physics. He even took his place in pop culture  with notable guest appearances in TV shows like "Star Trek,"  "Futurama," and "The Simpsons," as well as being mentioned often and his  appearance in "The Big Bang Theory."

  • "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," Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim,  said in a statement. "His courage and persistence with his brilliance  and humor inspired people across the world. 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."

Other reactions via social media include: 

  • “May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014” - NASA
  • “His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it's  not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric  of spacetime that defies measure.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • “He inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and  expand our understanding of the universe. His personality and genius  will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with his family.” – Astronaut Tim Peake
  • “R.I.P. Stephen Hawking. Among his many profound  contributions to this world was this simple sentiment: ‘It would not be  much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love’.” – Ambassador Samantha Power
  • “RIP Stephen Hawking. You were a super human.” – Josh Duhamel

Source: The Guardian