We are deeply saddened that our father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose works and heritage will live for many years. He once said, “[The earth] would not be a large part of the universe, if it had not become a home for the people you love.” We will miss him.
Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous theoretical physicists, one of the founders of quantum cosmology. He studied black holes: in 1974 he developed a theory that they “evaporate” due to a phenomenon that was later called “Hawking radiation”. Also, the Briton produced popular science books, the most famous of them – “A Brief History of Time”, published in 1988 and sold 10 million copies.
In 1963, 22-year-old Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Doctors believed that he was left with 2-3 years, but the physicist continued to live and engage in scientific activity. Over time, he lost the opportunity to speak and was paralyzed. Part of life Hawking spent in a wheelchair and talked with a speech synthesizer. By the end of the life, only the facial muscle of the cheek remained movable: around this was built the system of his chair.
Despite this, the scientist led an active life. In 2007, he was in weightlessness with the help of a special airplane, also Hawking appeared at conferences, appeared in various shows, answered questions from users of Reddit and played himself in the series “The Big Bang Theory”.
In 2014, the film “The Universe of Stephen Hawking” about the early years of the scientist was released. The role of Hawking was performed by the actor Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for her best actor.