“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” Stephen Hawking
Content I dont want to be a doctor! I love physics and maths! Love saving from disease Acquiring electronic voice Divorce, Marriage, Divorce Flying Hawking Science and Religion Black Holes Theory Hawking the Mathematician Popularizing Science Awards Hawking in Popular Culture
I dont want to be a doctor! I love physics and maths! Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. Stephens father, a biologist and a medical researcher, wanted his son to become a doctor, but the gifted boy was only interested in physics and maths. In 1959 Hawking was accepted to University College in Oxford, where he studied theoretical physics. After receiving his B.A. degree in 1962, he left for graduate work at Trinity Hall, Cambridge to study cosmology.
Love saving from diseaseHawking started developing symptoms of a serious illness, a motor neurone disease, shortly after his 21st birthday. Doctors did not expect him to survive for long, their verdict being complete paralysis and death within two years. But surprisingly enough, his illness stopped progressing rapidly after he had met Jane Wilde at a student New Year party. Jane became his first wife and the couple had a daughter and two sons.
Acquiring electronic voice After a throat operation in 1985, Hawking lost his ability to speak. Friends gave him a speech generating device, which was attached to his wheel-chair. At first Hawking used the index finger of his right arm to operate the device, but later some sensitivity was left only in the cheek muscle. The sensor attached to his glasses enables Hawking to operate the computer and communicate with the world.
Divorce, Marriage, DivorceMeanwhile, Stephens relationship with his wife got worse. In 1991 they separated and later divorced. Hawking married his personal care assistant, Elaine Mason, in 1995; the couple lived together for 11 years and finally divorced in 2006.
Flying HawkingDespite his illness, Hawking leads an active life. In 2007 he took a zero-gravity flight on a special plane. He was even planning a space flight in 2009.
Science and ReligionProfessor Hawking doesnt speak directly about his religious beliefs. In his books he often uses the word "God", but just to make some of his ideas clearer to the reader. His ex-wife, Jane, has described him as an atheist. When asked to compare religion and science, Hawking said, "There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."
Black Holes TheoryStephen Hawking has contributed notably to our understanding of black holes. He believes that black holes were formed right after the Big Bang as particles as small as a proton but weighing more than a billion tons. Because of their tiny size and enormous weight, black holes create gravity and absorb matter.
Black Holes Theory In 1974, he calculated that black holes should emit radiation, known today as Hawking radiation, until they exhaust their energy and evaporate.
Hawking the MathematicianThough many people consider Hawking a mathematician, the scientist himself often said that the last time he studied maths was in secondary school. And even when he taught mathematics at university in 1970s, he admitted that he was only two weeks ahead of his students.
Popularizing Science Stephen Hawking has achieved great success with works of popular science. The best-selling books he published include "A Brief History of Time", "Black Holes and Baby Universes", "The Universe in a Nutshell", and "The Grand Design". He also wrote a childrens book "Georges Secret Key to the Universe" together with his daughter. In "A Brief History of Time", published in 1988, there is only one equation. As Hawking himself explained, every equation could cut the sales of the book by half.
AwardsDespite all his work, Hawking hasnt yet been awarded the Nobel Prize. But his other numerous awards include the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, Wolf Prize in Physics, Copley Medal of the Royal Society, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and many others.
Hawking in Popular Culture As a person of great interest to the public, Hawking has appeared in many works of popular culture. Hawkings early life and the beginning of his career was the subject of the 2004 BBC TV film "Hawking" starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The physicist has appeared as himself on episodes of The Simpsons, Futurama, and The Big Bang Theory.
Hawking in Popular CultureHawking also hosted the series "Masters of Science Fiction". His synthesiser voice was used in the Pink Floyd song "Keep Talking" and in the Discovery Channel music video «I love the planet».