WORLD
World famous physicist Stephen Hawking passes away aged 76
14 March, 2018
World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, BBC reports. According to the British public service broadcaster, he died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday.

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Young Stephen Hawking with his family

“At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease. The illness left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except
through a voice synthesizer”, reads the article.
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At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live

His family released a statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning confirming his death at his home in Cambridge.

In a statement his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said: "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."

They praised his "courage and persistence" and said 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."
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Hawking was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease

Stephen William Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.
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Young Stephen Hawking

His scientific works include collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation.
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Hawking taking a zero-gravity flight in a "Vomit Comet"

Hawking was married twice. In 1990, Dr. Hawking and his wife separated after 25 years of marriage; Jane Hawking wrote about their years together in two books, “Music to Move the Stars: A Life With Stephen Hawking” and “Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen.” The latter became the basis of the 2014 movie “The Theory of Everything.”
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Hawking's first marriage with Jane Hawking

In 1995, he married Elaine Mason, a nurse who had cared for him since his bout of pneumonia. She had been married to David Mason, the engineer who had attached Dr. Hawking’s speech synthesizer to his wheelchair.
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Dr. Hawking married Elaine Mason in 1995. Credit Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Hawking was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

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Barack Obama talks with Stephen Hawking before a ceremony presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009 and achieved commercial success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.
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Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons

During his career, Hawking won the Albert Einstein Award, the Wolf Prize, the Copley Medal, and the Fundamental Physics Prize. The Nobel prize, however, eluded him.

Some of his most outspoken comments offended the religious. In his 2010 book, Grand Design, he declared that God was not needed to set the universe going, and in an interview with the Guardian a year later, dismissed the comforts of religious belief.
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Hawking spoke about death and he was not afraid of it

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” he said.

As another leading British newspaper, The Guardian reports, Hawking spoke about death and he was not afraid of it:

“He spoke also of death, an eventuality that sat on a more distant horizon than doctors thought. “I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,” he said,” reads the article.

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Hawking with his daughter Lucy

Hawking had a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that gradually paralysed him over the decades. At the time of his death, he was still able to communicate using a single cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating device.
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