Stephen Hawking

Stephen William Hawking (born January 8, 1942) is one of the world's leading theoretical physicists. Hawking is Lucasian professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University (a post once held by Isaac Newton). He was born in Oxford, England.

His principal areas of research are cosmology and quantum gravity. His major contributions to the field of research included his papers on the relationship between black holes and thermodynamics. His research indicated that black holes do not exist forever, but rather that virtual particle pairs created near their event horizons cause them to "evaporate" over time.

In spite of being severely disabled by Motor Neurone Disease, he is highly active in physics, writing, and public life. His condition forces him to communicate using a computer voice synthesiser. He was first diagnosed at the age 21, shortly before his first marriage.

His two books A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell have remained highly popular all over the world and are now classic best-sellers. Anyone interested in the universe, cosmos and how it all began can read them: no previous knowledge in this field is required to enjoy these books.

In popular culture, he has become a widely admired figure as a genius who has had a successful life despite his severe disability. He had a guest appearance on an episode of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, playing poker with Data, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton in the episode "Descent, Part I". The animated television series The Simpsons has occasionally featured him in episodes.

Stephen has three children from his first marriage. When his first wife was asked why she decided to marry a man with a 3-year life expectancy, she reponded: "These were the days of atomic gloom and doom, so we all had rather a short life expectancy". Stephen remarried in 1995.

See also: Roger Penrose, Kip S. Thorne, gravitational singularity

Hawking is famous for his oft-made statement, "When I hear of Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my gun." This was a deliberately ironic paraphrase of Hermann Göring's anti-intellectual quote, "When I hear the word 'culture', I reach for my revolver", which itself was from a play by German playwright and Nazi Poet Laureate, Hanns Johst.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974, appointed CBE in 1982 and became a Companion of Honour in 1989.

Table of contents
1 Publications
2 External links

Publications

Technical

Popular

N.B. On Hawking's website, ( http://www.hawking.org.uk/info/iindex.html ) he denounces the unauthorized publication of The Theory of Everything and asks consumers to boycott this book.

External links

  • Stephen Hawking's site
  • Emma Ross, Stephen Hawking's Birthday Celebrated, January 7 (2002), LA Times [1]
  • Hawking celebrates own brief history, January 7 (2002), BBC [1]


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