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Stephen Hawking

Stephen William Hawking (born January 8, 1942) is one of the world's leading theoretical physicists. He has been compared to Isaac Newton by some observers. Hawking is Lucasian professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University (a post once held by Isaac Newton). He was born in Oxford, England.

His principal areas of research are cosmology and quantum gravity. One of his major contributions to the field of research were his papers on the relationship between black holes and thermodynamics. His research indicated that black holes do not exist forever, but rather that virtual particle pairs created near their event horizons cause them to "evaporate" over time.

In spite of being severely disabled by Motor Neurone Disease, he is highly active in physics, writing, and public life. His condition forces him to communicate using a computer voice synthesiser.

His two books A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell have remained highly popular all over the world and are now classic best-sellers. Anyone interested in universe, cosmos and how it all began can read them: no previous knowledge in this field is required to enjoy these books.

He had a guest appearance on an episode of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, playing poker with Data, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton in the episode "Descent, Part I". The animated television series The Simpsons has occasionally featured him in episodes.

See also: Roger Penrose, Kip S. Thorne, gravitational singularity

Hawking is famous for his oft-made statement, "When I hear of Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my gun." This was a deliberately ironic paraphrase of Hermann Goering's anti-intellectual quote, "When I hear the word 'culture', I reach for my revolver", which itself was from a play by German playwright and Nazi Poet Laureate, Hanns Johst[?].

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N.B. On Hawking's website, ( http://www.hawking.org.uk/info/iindex ) he denounces the unauthorized publication of The Theory of Everything and asks consumers to boycott this book.

External links

  • Stephen Hawking's site (http://www.hawking.org.uk/)
  • Emma Ross, Stephen Hawking's Birthday Celebrated, January 7 (2002), LA Times [1] (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-britain-stephen-hawking0107jan07.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2Dworld%2Dheadlines)
  • Hawking celebrates own brief history, January 7 (2002), BBC [2] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1746000/1746912.stm)

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