I am, of course, referring to the recent death of Stephen Hawking.
There’s no way that I can add anything to the widespread reporting of the very sad death of the theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author Professor Stephen Hawking.
Except, possibly, this interesting quirk of fate.
For this great man died yesterday: March 14th.
The very same day that another very famous man, the German-born Albert Einstein, was born. As in March 14th. Albeit, Stephen Hawking’s death being 139 years after the birth of the 1921 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Did you also know that Professor Hawking was a great dog lover!
I was very pleased that The Conversation blog site released a wonderful tribute to Stephen Hawking. The item opens, thus:
Acclaimed British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking has died aged 76. Hawking is best known for his work on black holes, which revolutionised our understanding of the universe.
Hawking passed away today peacefully at his home in Cambridge, his family confirmed in a statement:
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 humour 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.
Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. In 1963 he was diagnosed with ALS, a form of Motor Neurone Disease, and later confined to a wheelchair and forced to communicate via a computerised voice. But he continued his theoretical work and was outspoken on many things over much of his life.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the scientist, who made complex science accessible to everyone in his 1988 bestselling book A Brief History of Time.
Do read the rest of that article. I will take the tribute from Alice Gorman that closes The Conversation article to close today’s post.
Alice Gorman, Senior Lecturer in archaeology and space studies, Flinders University
There are few scientists who reach as far into popular culture as Stephen Hawking did. His research tackled the biggest of big questions – the nature of time, space and the universe we live in.
Sometimes it feels like science is losing ground in the modern world, but people still look to the stars for answers about who we are and how we come to be here.
Hawking’s bestselling A Brief History of Time made cosmology accessible to people and brought black holes out of the shadows and into the public imagination.
Personally I’ll miss his appearances on The Big Bang Theory, where he could out-nerd the nerds, and also provide some often necessary common sense. It was always great to see a world-class scientist just having fun.
What a very great man he was!