Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies at 76

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One of the most renowned men in scientific history, Stephen Hawking, passed away today at the age 76. Coincidentally, it’s Pi Day (3.14) and Albert Einstein’s birthday too. Known for his theories on black holes, specifically in the fields of cosmology, general relativity, and quantum gravity, Hawking lived with a rare motor neuron disease, leaving him wheelchair-bound with a voice synthesiser activated by a muscle in his cheek.

When he was 22, the British physicist was told that he had only a few years to live following the diagnosis, which had no impact on his sharp mind as he continued his works. Hawking shot to wider fame in 1988 when his book, A Brief History of Time, was published, catering to nonspecialist readers with no prior knowledge of scientific theories on cosmology.

In a statement released by his family, Hawking’s three children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim, confirmed the death of their father.

“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 a celebrity, pop culture icon, and had a great sense of humour, with appearances in The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, and Star Trek. A movie about his life, The Theory of Everything, which covered his early works, the onset of his condition, and his relationship with his wife, won an Oscar with Eddie Redmayne nabbing the Best Actor award for playing Hawking in the movie.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tweeted his condolences to Hawking’s family earlier today:

Celebrities, scientists, and prominent figures from around the world reacted to Hawking’s death:



Stars from science-inspired TV shows Silicon Valley and The Big Bang Theory paid tribute to Hawking as well:

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield paid tribute to Hawking as well:

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” — Stephen Hawking

Rest in peace, professor.



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