There are very few scientists who manage to make an impression not only in the scientific world but also reach laymen. One such brilliant scientist is Stephen Hawking. Known for his work with black holes and relativity, Hawking’s reach goes beyond the scientific field. Hawking’s wit, humour, and unwavering spirit in the face of disability made him one of the most beloved scientists of all time. Let’s take a look at the inspiring story of the man who changed the way we viewed the universe!
A life plagued with challenges!
Going by his achievements later in life, one would assume that Hawking was a brilliant kid when in school but that wasn’t the case. Hawking was an average student in school but his wit and brashness earned him the nickname ‘Einstien’. Hawking managed to pretty well academically as years passed by and went on to receive a first-class BA degree in physics. Hawking went to pursue his graduate work in Trinity Hall in Cambridge soon after.
Tragedy befell Hawking in his first year as a doctoral student when he was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease. The doctors gave him two years to live and this pushed Hawking into serious depression. But the disease progressed slower than the doctors had anticipated. And even though Hawking’s speech was unintelligible and he could no longer walk without support, he dove back into work. Hawking defied all odds and not only completed his Ph.D. but also pursued his research in the understanding of the universe.
Hawking’s debilitating disability did not subdue his wit, charm, humour, or passion for life. He went on to unravel the mysteries of the universe from his wheelchair.
Hawking’s contributions made him one of the most significant and recognizable figures in modern science. Most of Hawking’s work was on black holes and relativity. Hawking’s discovery about black holes astounded everyone in the physics world. While Einstein’s theory stated that nothing could escape the black hole including light and that gave it the pitch-black colour, Hawking found that black holes are not completely black. The colour is attributed to the black-body radiation emitted b black holes due to quantum effects. This changed the way people viewed black holes and sparked a conversation that still goes on after 44 years.
In addition to his scientific achievements, Hawking strived to popularise science among the masses. He believed that the concepts of time, space, and modern physics should be accessible to everyone and not just those in the scientific field. The same belief was the reason behind his book “A brief history of time” which simplifies the concepts of science for common people. The book was well-received by people all over the world which led to Hawking co-authoring a series of children’s books with his daughter Lucy.
Hawking’s life was riddled with a disease that took away his speech and gradually paralyzed him. Hawking was once quoted saying “When you are faced with the possibility of an early death, it makes you realize life is worth living and there are a lot of things you want to do.” And so he lived a life worthy of remembering.
While it was his genius mind that made him one of the most renowned scientists of our time, it was his wit, humour, and never-give-up attitude that touched millions of hearts all over the world. Hawking is a great role model to not only kids but adults alike. Stephen Hawking inspires us to do better no matter what curve ball life throws at us.