Stephen Hawking, renowned scientist, dies at 76

Pat Wise
March 14, 2018

When his speech started to slur, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - a form of motor neurone disease - aged just 21, in 1963.

Hawking, whose 1988 book "A Brief History of Time" became an unlikely worldwide bestseller and cemented his superstar status, dedicated his life to unlocking the secrets of the Universe.

In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, his book A Brief History of Time was on the United Kingdom best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.

Professor Stephen Hawking appeared via hologram to address an audience at the Sydney Opera House in April 2015.

Stephen Hawking has passed away at the age of 76, the Daily Mail reports.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condoled the demise of cosmologist Stephen Hawking and said his grit and tenacity inspired people all over the world.

He also explained that he was able to change the accent of his computer when the technology advanced, but he decided against it.

Plait described how Hawking discovered how "the most powerful objects in the Universe" black holes "eventually dissolve", and how Hawking lived for another 55 years despite his ALS diagnosis.

Hawking was married twice. His first life partner was Jane Wilde, a fellow student at Cambridge with whom Hawking lived with for 28 years.

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"He once said, "it would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love".

But scientifically, his name is most closely associated with the physics of black holes, which he began to study when they were still considered mere mathematical curiosities in Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Hawking's seminal contributions continued through the 1980s.

"Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many", Hawking said in 2016, at the opening of a new AI research centre at Cambridge University.

A previous holder of the prestigious post was the 17th-century British scientist Isaac Newton.

Pop culture fans should recognise Hawking from his guest spot (as his own hologram) in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Descent", or his appearances on The Simpsons, Futurama, and others. After that, he tied the knot with his nurse, Elaine Mason, with whom Hawking spent his next 11 years. He was also wonderfully amusing with a fantastic media savviness that propelled him into A-list celebrity stardom as few other scientists before.

American astrophysisist Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote: "His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake".

"We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure".

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