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One Year Since the Death of Stephen Hawking

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One Year Since the Death of Stephen Hawking

Ethan Bryant, Staff Writer

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It has been a year since the award-winning physicist, Stephen Hawking, passed away at the age of 76. During his life, Hawking was a world-renowned English cosmologist, physicist, and director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. He wrote several books, such as A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, and The Grand Design, and made quite a name for himself in the scientific and public spheres. But, Hawking was not only one of the most brilliant scientists to ever walk the Earth, but also a man with Lou Gehrig’s disease (Motor Neurone Disease.)

 

As an aspiring theoretical physicist studying at Cambridge, a young Hawking tripped and fell one day after class. After giving himself a concussion, his doctors discovered that he had a motor neurone disease, which slowly eats away at your muscle tissue, essentially causing the body to shut down on itself. Along with his new found disabilities, doctors told him that two years was the average life expectancy for most with the disease. When he asked what it would do to his brain however, the doctors said that his brain would be fully intact and functional. This allowed for him to continue his studies at Cambridge and, throughout his life, continue to study and explore scientific principles and possibilities.

 

At Cambridge, students are expected to write a final essay concerning a topic that was not discussed in the class but was dealing with the subject matter. With two years to live, Hawking decided that his thesis for his paper would deal with the movement of time. After finishing his thesis, he presented it to the Cambridge examination board. After dissecting the first three chapters of his paper, they praised the fourth, calling it a revolutionary idea. But, Hawking had no scientific evidence to back it up. So, he confidently set out to prove his theory. He needed to find one stunning equation that would solve the origin of everything in the Universe. But later on in his life, he developed Pneumonia, which caused him to lose all ability to speak. Hawking was near completely paralyzed. But there was a hopeful light at the end of the tunnel for him. An American mechanic had developed a machine that could talk for Hawking. With his speech given back to him, Hawking was back on the move. Armed with his thoughts, a wheelchair, and England behind him, Hawking traveled to America to finally prove his theory.

 

But, Hawking could never figure it out. He tried to solve the near impossible equation standing before him for the remainder of his time on Earth, up to his death. His efforts resulted in his estrangement from his kids, and two divorces within his lifetime. He pushed himself so hard that he nearly lost everything. A cost that in the end, changed the world as we know it, and revolutionized both science as a whole, and the construct of time itself.

 

Hawking was one of the greatest scientists to walk this Earth. His work in the world of Theoretical Physics changed the way scientists think today. Many scientists have been touched by his thoughts. No man however can match the power and courage that Stephen Hawking had. Truely, a man of the century.

 

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One Year Since the Death of Stephen Hawking