One of the world’s most famous astrophysicists Stephen Hawking passed away early this morning. He was 76.
His scientific works include a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation.
Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Hawking is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US. In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
His book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.
Hawking had a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that gradually paralysed him over the decades. He was still able to communicate using a single cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating device.