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STEM GLAM GALLERY: Stephen Hawking

Actress Felicity Jones (left) poses with the real Stephen Hawking (center) and actor Eddie Redmayne (right).

Hawking was born in Oxford, England, in January 8, 1942. His father, Frank Hawking, was a research biologist. Even though Hawking was first majoring in Mathematics, he decided to fulfil his father’s desire and changed to physics major and attend the Oxford University with no Math chair department that time. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Oxford at the age of 20 and then moved to Cambridge University for his graduate degree.

Sadly, at that time, he found that he had a serious motor neuron disease, called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, and told that he could live only for a few more years. Though the disease had ultimately caused him to unable to move and speak at all, luckily, however, his super-brain with superb thinkings remained unharmed. Through his perseverance and enthusiasm, he managed to live his life up to 76 years, and amazed the world with his astonishing discoveries about the Black Hole.

Despite having paralyzed and survived with medication and supplemental facilities, he did not let his enthusiasm on studying cosmology go away. He had traveled into places like Anartica and Easter Island. He had been in a zero-gravity flight. Plus, he had appeared in many television shows.Some of his well- known discoveries and theories include “the origin of the Universe,” “the Big Bang Theory,” and “the Hawking Radiation.”

"The Big Bang theory says that the universe of matter and energy began at a single point, which reached a critical mass, then exploded outward. The universe continues to expand. In a closed universe theory, at some point, the universe is going to 'hit the wall,' when enough energy has been expended from the original big bang, then begin to shrink again. In an open universe theory, the universe will just continue to expand indefinitely as the force of gravity becomes weaker and weaker as objects in space spread further apart."

Hawking won tons of awards and honors throughout his lifetime. His first award was Adams Prize by the Cambridge University at the age of 24. He is also awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama at 2009.

Hawking is one of the greatest scientist of all time. He expanded our understanding of the universe to a great extent and the world honored his achievements. He has died physically. But his theories and discoveries have left scientists with more intriguing questions and hypotheses, and will still be alive.


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