Renowned British scientist Prof. Stephen William Hawking, known for his breakthrough ideas in theoretical physics and space research, has died at the age of 76, according to media reports citing his family’s spokesperson.
Although known at school as “Einstein”, Hawking was not initially successful academically. With time, he began to show considerable aptitude for scientific subjects and, inspired by Tahta, decided to read mathematics at university. Hawking’s father advised him to study medicine, concerned that there were few jobs for mathematics graduates. He also wanted his son to attend University College, Oxford, his own alma mater. As it was not possible to read mathematics there at the time, Hawking decided to study physics and chemistry. Despite his headmaster’s advice to wait until the next year, Hawking was awarded a scholarship after taking the examinations in March 1959.
Although known at school as “Einstein”, Hawking was not initially successful academically. Hawking who began his university education at University College, Oxford was bored and lonely as he found the academic work “ridiculously easy”. He joined the college boat club, the where he coxed a rowing crew. The rowing coach at the time noted that Hawking cultivated a daredevil image, steering his crew on risky courses that led to damaged boat.
After being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, Hawking fell into a depression – though his doctors advised that he continue with his studies. However, his disease progressed more slowly than doctors had predicted. Although Hawking had difficulty walking unsupported, and his speech was almost unintelligible, an initial diagnosis that he had only two years to live proved unfounded.
Hawking began his graduate studies, received a research fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, he obtained his PhD degree in applied mathematics and theoretical physics, specialising in general relativity and cosmology.
Among many books published by Prof. Hawking on the fundamental questions about the universe and our existence, ‘A Brief History of Time’ has been one of the most read.
- The Theory of Everything (2014) by James Marsh.
- Hawking (2013) documentary by Stephen Finnigan.
- ·Hawking (2004) BBC drama by Philip Martin. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Prof. Hawking
- A Brief History of Time (1991) by Errol Morris
Campusutra salutes the prodigy. We pray for his soul’s eternal peace