The 16th century had Galileo, the 17th century had Issac Newton and 18th century had Einstein. Each era has had one standout genius of its own who was not only a great visionary but also had the audacity to stand up against the existing scientific convention, and challenge them to alter the course of scientific discoveries and inventions. So was Stephen Hawking.Thanks to him we know more about the black hole, the life beyond stars and A brief history of time. Today we are celebrating the life of the greatest mind of the 21st century by counting down our picks for the Top 10 Highlights from the life of STEPHEN HAWKING
1. His belief in Aliens
The universe is an immense, something which Stephen knew as much as anyone else. He believed that there is an intelligent alien life existing somewhere in the universe. However cosmologist also believe in this possibility, Stephen Hawking also believed that humans must remain careful about trying to contact them. Why?
Because he posits that such species will likely try to destroy the human race or at least ravage earth for resources. In 2010 Hawking publicly stated his concern about comparing invading alien civilization and its effect on humans to Columbus landing in America and its effect on native Americans. In-spite of that he supported Breakthrough Listen a research program dedicated to finding alien life. But if we were to the Hawking’s way, its better we just find them not get in contact with them.
2. A Mediocre Student, Hawking
Like many of our revolutionary scientists, initial days in school were tough for Hawking. As far as grades were concerned he was an average student. He himself had admitted to the fact that he was a lazy student throughout high school and all the way to his days at The Oxford University. He struggled to read until he was 8 years old.
We’re very proud to call Stephen Hawking an alumnus of Oxford, and enormously saddened by his passing. Our thoughts are with his family. He reminded us all to “be curious”, for there is “always something you can do and succeed at”. pic.twitter.com/DUSRbeao3U— Oxford University (@UniofOxford) March 14, 2018
Fortunately, one Mathematics teacher inspired him and brought the sparking in him for Math and Science. Once Hawking realized that he was diagnosed to ALS, he began working on making something of himself with whatever time that was left for him and spent his time in cosmology, Quantum Mechanics, and Hawking’s Radiations.
3. Stephen, The Star Rower.
Even before being diagnosed with a physically disabling illness, Hawking didn’t have what one would call a large or athletic build. However, row teams recruited smaller men like Hawking to be coxswains — a position that does not row but rather controls steering and stroke rate.
During his early days at Oxford Hawking often used to get bored with classes and was in constant need of social interactions. In an effort to try something new he joined school’s Boat club, and very soon he picked up to become the most important member of the crew, THE COXON, which for a person with his physical built and strong voice was an ideal role. There he proved to be a bit reckless. Steering his crew through narrow spaces and often damaging the boat as a result. One of his crew mates labeled him as the adventurous type.
4. Stephen, The betting Guy
Before that Hawking teamed up with fellow theoretical physicist Kip Thorne in bet against Jacque Fresco about the black hole information paradox. The question was does the information that falls into the black hole gets destroyed. Hawking and Throne said yes while Prescott said no. In 2004 Hawking officially conceded admitting that his opinion on matter had evolved.
5. Stephen Hawking:The Pop culture sensation
Since 1987, Stephen Hawking had been making numerous number of public appearances and guest starring multiple number of popular TV shows like The Simpsons , Futurama, Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory just to name a few. These cameos often showcased his intelligence and dry humor along with some light good-natured deprecation.
Due to his TV appearances he became a household name for all age groups. His reference can be found in numerous songs, comics, video games, movies and more, making him the pop culture icon that he truly was. While there are increasing number of scientist who are developing public personas of their own, nobody has been able to strike a chord with the audiences like Stephen.
His dry humorous side can be well seen in this interview with popular late night talk show host John Oliver
6. Stephen, The Author
During the course of his constant battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Stephen Hawking had authored numerous articles and books. His writings enticed scientist, physicist, engineers ,high school graduates, science enthusiasts and people from all walks of life.
In 2007, Hawking wrote George’s Secret Key to the Universe — a charming, imaginative story about the mesmerism of space and the allure of time-travel, featuring lovely semi-Sendakian crosshatch illustrations by Garry Parsons. What makes the book especially endearing is that Hawking co-wrote it with his daughter Lucy.
His best and most recognized international bestseller till date has been A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. In this book, Hawking writes in non-technical terms about the structure, origin, development and eventual fate of the universe, which is the object of study of astronomy and modern physics. He talks about basic concepts like space and time, basic building blocks that make up the universe (such as quarks) and the fundamental forces that govern it (such as gravity). He writes about cosmological phenomena such as the Big Bang and black holes.
7. Stephen Hawking : The Atheist
Hawking was probably an atheist from an early age. His family was nominally Christian, but in reality, they were intellectuals and atheists.
As a school boy at St. Albans school, he argued with his classmates about Christianity. During his college years at Oxford and Cambridge, he was a well-known atheist.
His first wife, Jane, whom he married in 1965 and divorced in 1990, was a devout Christian. It is clear they were never on the same page about religious matters, and this was perhaps one of the reasons why the two decided to go their separate ways.
Hawking’s statement denying the existence of God should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Throughout the years, Hawking has made many statements in opposition to religious beliefs.
Some of his controversial quote about religion are here
“We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no God. No one created our universe, and no one directs our fate.”
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
8. Stephen's Computer
Designed, developed and constantly updated by Intel. Since 1997 Stephen Hawking’s Computer had been his medium to communicate his thoughts and feeling to the rest of the world.
It is basically a tablet computer mounted on the arm of his wheelchair and is powered by his wheelchair batteries, although the tablets internal battery will keep the computer running if necessary.
The main interface to the computer is through an open source program called ACAT, written by Intel. This provides a software keyboard on the screen. A cursor automatically scans across this keyboard by row or by column. Stephen could select a character by moving his cheek to stop the cursor. His cheek movement was detected by an infrared switch that was mounted on his spectacles.
Here is a humorous clip where celebrities audition for the role of Stephen Hawking’s voice.
9. Awards, Honours and Cinematic Tributes.
Stephen’s life story has been an inspirational one. It was one which was needed to be told to the world full of people who often give up the moment things start to become difficult. So in 2014 filmmaker James Marsh took charge to take this story to the silver screen by the name The theory of everything.
The academy award winning The Theory of Everything is a 2014 British biographical romantic drama film which is set at Cambridge University and details the life of the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. Directed by James Marsh, and adapted by Anthony McCarten from the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking, which deals with her relationship with her ex-husband, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or motor neurons disease), and his success in physics.
Hawking received numerous awards and honours. Already early in the list, in 1974 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).
Hawking received the 2015 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences shared with Viatcheslav Mukhanov for discovering that the galaxies were formed from quantum fluctuations in the early Universe. At the 2016 Pride of Britain Awards, Hawking received the lifetime achievement award “for his contribution to science and British culture“. After receiving the award from Prime Minister Theresa May, Hawking humorously requested that she not seek his help with Brexit.
On March 13, 2018 the most inspirational, visionary and beautiful minds to have ever step foot on planet earth said goodbye forever. The world pays tribute to Ultimate Great One.
Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014 pic.twitter.com/FeR4fd2zZ5— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2018
"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.” #StephenHawking 🌟💛🙌 pic.twitter.com/Ip9JI3O5JW— Khan Academy (@khanacademy) March 14, 2018
Professor Stephen Hawking was an outstanding scientist and academic. His grit and tenacity inspired people all over the world. His demise is anguishing. Professor Hawking’s pioneering work made our world a better place. May his soul rest in peace.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 14, 2018
Perhaps now he will be able to solve the mystery of Black hole and the universe, since now he has gone to one of them.