Vastavam web: Stephen Hawking, the legendary British theoretical physicist who explored the mysteries of the universe from his wheelchair and went on to become an inspiring figure globally, died on Wednesday at his home in Cambridge.His family said that Hawking, 76, died peacefully in his home near Cambridge University, where he did much of his ground-breaking work on black holes and relativity.
“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world,” the statement said.”He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him for ever,” it said.
Hawking suffered from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which is usually fatal within a few years.He was diagnosed in 1963, when he was 21, and doctors initially only gave him a few years to live.But he went on to study at Cambridge and became one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein.Known for his unique way of speaking while living his life in a wheelchair, Hawking became an emblem of human determination and curiosity
Hawking’s first major breakthrough came in 1970, when he and Roger Penrose applied the mathematics of black holes to the entire universe and showed that a singularity, a region of infinite curvature in space-time, lay in our distant past: the point from which came the big bang.Hawking’s seminal contributions continued through the 1980s. The theory of cosmic inflation holds that the fledgling universe went through a period of terrific expansion. In 1982, Hawking was among the first to show how quantum fluctuations ? tiny variations in the distribution of matter ? might give rise through inflation to the spread of galaxies in the universe.
It sold 10 million copies and was translated into 40 different languages.Hawking won the Albert Einstein Award, the Wolf Prize, the Copley Medal, and the Fundamental Physics Prize. The Nobel prize, however, eluded him.Despite being a British citizen he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the US’s highest civilian honor, in 2009 by President Barack Obama.Hawking once said, ?I want to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit.?