Born on the 8th of January, 1942, Stephen William Hawking known
popularly as Stephen Hawking, is a cosmologist, theoretical physicist
and author of many scientific books. Having appeared in public
many times, he is considered to be somewhat an academic celebrity.
A Royal Society of Arts Honorary Fellow, he is also a lifetime
member of the Pontifical Academy of Science. In the year 2009,
he was awarded the highest USA civilian award called the Presidential
Medal of Freedom.
Hawking's parents were Dr Frank Hawking, a researcher and biologist,
as well as Isobel Hawking. He has two sisters named Mary and Philippa
as well as an adopted brother named Edward. Hawkings' parents
lived in Northern London and moved to Oxford while his mother
was still pregnant with Stephen. This is because they desired
a more safe location for their coming firstborn.
When Stephen was born, his family moved back to London where
his dad became head of the Parasitology division of the Medical
Research National Institute. In the year 1950, the entire family
moved to St Albans in Hertfordhire where he attended the St Albans
High School for Girls from the years 1950 to 1953.
Always having been interested in science, he was inspired by
his math teacher and wanted to study this subject at the university.
His father, however, wanted him to apply at the University College
in Oxford where he himself had attended. He thus applied to read
natural sciences where he got a scholarship. Once at the University
College, he then specialized in physics. The interests he had
at this time were relativity, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics.
In 1962 in Oxford, he received his BA degree and stayed on for
the study of the subject of astronomy. He left when he saw that
all the observatory of this school could manage to see was sunspots,
which did not interest him. He was much more into studying theory
than observations. He then went to Cambridge's Trinity Hall to
study cosmology and astronomy.
For 30 years, Hawking was the Mathematics Lucasian Professor
at Cambridge University. He took up his post in 1979 and retired
on October 1, 2009. A Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge and Gonville,
he also holds a Distinguished Research Chair at Waterloo, Ontario's
Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics.
He is popularly known for the contributions he made in the field
of quantum gravity, specifically black holes, and cosmology. He
has achieved success with popular science works where he discusses
his own cosmology theories. These include the bestselling "A
Brief History of Time" which stayed on the Sunday Times bestseller
list of England for two hundred and thirty seven weeks.
To date, Stephen Hawking has key science works which include
theorems regarding the singularities of gravity with Roger Penrose
in the general relativity framework. It also includes his theory
predicting that black holes need to emit radiation. This theory
is known currently as hawking Radiation, sometimes called Bekenstein-Hawking
Stephen Hawking, through the years, has become almost completely
paralyzed by his disease which is neuro-muscular dystrophy, related
to sclerosis of the amyotrophic laterals.
Rumor Has It …
As a kid Stephen Hawking invented a prickly pear cactus dessert
that had the spines still in it. Needless to say it was not a
Written by Kevin Lepton