Stephen Hawking


Born: Jan 8, 1942 in Oxford, England
Nationality: British
Famous For: black hole singularity theorems, Hawking radiation, and A Brief History of Time
Awards: Albert Einstein Award (1978), Wolf Prize (1988), Prince of Asturias Award (1989), Copley, Medal (2006), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009) and Special Fundamental Physics Prize (2012)

Stephen Hawking was born on January 8th, 1942 in Oxford, England. From an early age he showed extensive interest in science and space. At age 21, while doing research on cosmology at the University of Cambridge, Hawking was diagnosed with incurable Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease; he was told that he only have 2 years left to live. The pioneering works and discoveries he has contributed in physics have transformed the definition of physics and offered breakthroughs to other scientists.

Early Life

Hawking has grown to be one of the most notable physicists the world has seen. His father, Frank Hawking, was a medical researcher. His mother, Isobel Hawking, was a scholar of philosophy, politics and economics. Both of his parents were graduates of Oxford University. Stephen Hawking’s time in school was not as exceptional as one might have thought. He spent much of his time on quests outside the classroom. At the university, his love for mathematics overwhelmed him. Since Oxford did not offer a degree in mathematics he moved towards physics which was the perfect alternative. In 1962 he graduated from Oxford and went on to the University of Cambridge for his Ph.D.

His Work

Stephen Hawking’s studies mainly focused on laws that explain the universe. Together with Roger Penrose they showed the existence of Big Bang Singularity by applying Einstein’s theory of relativity. From 1970 to 1974, he focused on black holes combining general relativity and quantum mechanics to come up with Hawking radiation theory that showed black holes emitted some form of radiation. In 1983, he joined hands with Jim Hurtle to further explain that the laws of science would reveal how the universe was formed since their research suggested that space and time had no edge. He has also published several books including A brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell and others.

Professor Stephen Hawking is considered to be very resilient. He has been able to overcome his health challenges and, at the same time, contribute to physics at large. As such, he has received numerous awards, prizes and accolades. Among them include 12 honorary degrees, the Companion of Honor title, the Commander of the British Empire title and the most recent one; the Special Fundamental Physics Prize.

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