Stephen Hawking — Life in a nutshell
“I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.” This is what he used to say and what he truly lived by. Well, I am referring to no one other than our beloved Professor Hawking!
One of the most celebrated British cosmologists ever, Stephen William Hawking, was born in England on Jan. 8, 1942, exactly 300 years after the astronomer Galileo Galilei’s death. In 1963, at the young age of 21 years, Hawking was diagnosed with an early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neuron disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis “ALS”) and was expected to not live for more than two years. However, defying all the odds, Hawking attained his Ph.D. in cosmology and forged new roads into the understanding of the universe in his own unique manner.
Hawking worked primarily in the field of general relativity and particularly on the physics of black holes. In his work in collaboration with Penrose, Hawking extended the singularity theorem concepts. This included the existence of singularities and the theory that the universe might have started as a singularity. In 1971, he suggested the formation of numerous objects containing as much as one billion tons of mass but occupying only a proton’s space. These objects, called mini black holes, are unique because their immense mass and gravity require them to be ruled by the laws of relativity, while their minute size requires that the laws of quantum mechanics also apply to them.
In 1974 Hawking proposed that following quantum theory predictions, black holes emit subatomic particles until they exhaust their energy and finally explode. These proposed subatomic particles being emitted by black holes came to be known as Hawking radiation after him. In a nutshell, Hawking’s work greatly spurred efforts to delineate the properties of black holes theoretically.
- The concept of Hawking radiation in astrophysics
- How do neutron stars and black holes form?
- A brief history of black holes – from 1784 to 2020
Although ALS gradually paralyzed Prof. Hawking over the decades, and he even lost his natural speech, still, these limitations couldn’t stop him from becoming one of the most notable science communicators we ever had. Over the years, Stephen Hawking wrote or co-wrote a total of 15 books. His book ‘ A Brief History of Time’ spent more than four years atop the London Sunday Times’ best-seller list. To date, it has sold millions of copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 40 languages.
Professor Hawking was also awarded several awards and honors throughout his life for his extraordinary contributions to science. Prof. Hawking is truly an exceptional example of intellect, perseverance, and determination, whom everyone looks up to. So today, on his 79th birth anniversary, let’s have a glance at some of the most beautiful and inspiring quotes ever penned by the genius!
Top 20 quotes by Stephen Hawking
I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.
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.
There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.
I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street.
One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist
People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.
My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all
Not only does God play dice but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.
I think computer viruses should count as life… I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.
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At school, I was never more than about halfway up the class. It was a very bright class. My classwork was very untidy, and my handwriting was the despair of my teachers. But my classmates gave me the nickname Einstein, so presumably they saw signs of something better. When I was twelve, one of my friends bet another friend a bag of sweets that I would never come to anything. I don’t know if this bet was ever settled, and if so, which way it was decided.
However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.
It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe, and the philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. It’s a crazy world out there. Be curious.
Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.
We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.
Quiet people have the loudest minds.