British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking is dead according to the family’s spokesperson.
Stephen William Hawking, born January 8, 1942 in Oxford, was a British theoretical physicist and cosmologist. Hawking was a professor of mathematics at Cambridge University from 1980 to 20091, a member of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and a distinguished researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He was known for his contributions in the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes.
He also had tremendous success with his popular science works in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general, such as the bestseller A Brief History of Time, which remained on the Sunday bestseller’s list of bestsellers for 237 consecutive weeks.
Hawking suffered from neuromuscular dystrophy, which is attributed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); his illness progressed over the years and left him almost completely paralyzed.
The key to Hawking’s main scientific work to date is based, in collaboration with Roger Penrose, on the elaboration of theorems of singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, now known as Hawking radiation (or sometimes Beckenstein-Hawking radiation).
He was a world-renowned theoretical physicist whose scientific career spans more than 40 years. His books and public appearances made him a university celebrity and constantly appeared on TV and radio shows. He was an honorary member of the Royal Society of Arts and a life member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. In 1981, he was awarded the Franklin medal. The asteroid Hawking was named in his honor.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of our beloved father today,” say his children Lucy, Robert and Tim in this text published by the British Press Association. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will still live for many years,” they wrote.
Stephen Hawking had overcome the predictions that he had only a few years to live after developing in 1964 a neurodegenerative disease, Charcot’s Disease, which had put him in a wheelchair.
“I’m sure my disability has something to do with my celebrity. People are fascinated by the contrast between my very limited physical abilities and the extremely wide nature of the universe I study,” said the contemporary scientist.
“His courage and tenacity, his genius and his humor, have inspired people around the world,” said his children. “He said one day + This universe would not be much if it did not shelter the people we love. + It will always be missed.”
Howking was also the subject of a biopic released in 2015 and in which he was played by Eddie Redmayne, “A wonderful history of time”. The British actor, author of an anthology performance won many awards including the Oscar for Best Actor.