World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76. He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge on 13th March.
Hawking was known for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including ‘A Brief History of Time.’ At the age of 22, Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neuron disease. The illness left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesiser.
In a statement his children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said, “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.” They praised his “courage and persistence” and said 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.”
He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing – a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation. Through his work with mathematician Sir Roger Penrose, he demonstrated that Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes.