Professor Stephen Hawking: Remembered

Professor Stephen Hawking has sadly passed away, aged 76. People all across the world mourn his death and remember his incredible contributions to science.

‘Phenomenal, ground-breaking, resilient’, these were all words used by physics teacher Mr Blake to describe Professor Stephen Hawking, who sadly passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning. Many mourn the loss of a great man, who outlived his life expectancy by over 50 years.

Born on 8th January 1942, exactly 300 years after Galileo’s death, he spent his childhood in London. Later moving to St Albans, Hertfordshire, he went through secondary education, where he didn’t work particularly hard and found the work easy. Hawking first attended university in Oxford, where he received a first class honours degree in Natural Science in 1959. He later moved to Cambridge to study Applied Mathematics and theoretical Physics, succeeding to get a PhD in 1965. Hawking based his work around the basic laws that govern the universe. He used Einstein’s theory to research the beginning of time and discovered that black holes give off radiation, which later became known as Hawking Radiation.

At the age of 21, Hawking was unfortunately diagnosed with a strand of Motor Neurones Disease, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). This eventually caused paralysis throughout his whole body, causing him to be wheel-chair bound and speak through a computer. Although suffering greatly, he persevered and managed to continue his research and raise a family. Mr Martin, the head of Physics at Longsands Academy, theorised ‘because he couldn’t do lots with his body, he focused on his thoughts’. This may be one of the reasons that his research was so successful.

Overall, Hawking excelled academically, receiving: 13 degrees; a CBE in 1982 and became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, the same position that Isaac Newton held in 1669. Professor Stephen Hawking influenced a great many people, including Longsands student Charlie, who said ‘he was an incredible inspiration’. Although being one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, he refused to take an IQ test, claiming that ‘people who boast about their IQ are losers’. This represents how he felt about the idea of an IQ and how it may not define the intellect of an individual.

Professor Stephen Hawking died peacefully of natural causes in the early hours of the 14th March 2018. He lived a long and illustrious life and transformed the world of cosmology. He will be dearly missed by both his family and the worldwide scientific community. Stephen Hawking was a great man, as illustrated by his quote: ‘intelligence is the ability to adapt to change’.

by Owain and Jacob (Year 10)

Headlines News Team

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