Dr. Stephen Hawking; Man Of Mystery

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Dr. Stephen Hawking has been considered to be more brilliant then Einstein. Dr. Hawking was born on January 8 1942 in Oxford, England on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death. Is this a coincidence? After his studies at St. Albans School, he attended University College, Oxford. He wanted to study Mathematics, but because it was unavailable at Oxford, he concentrated on Physics and earned a degree in Natural Science three years later. Stephen went on to Cambridge to do research in Cosmology. After attaining his Ph.D., he became a Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. He left the Institute of Astronomy to become a professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge. He has held the post of Lacasian Professor of Mathematics since 1979. In the early 1960’s, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with the dreadful disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (A.L.S.), an incurable degenerative neuromuscular disease, also known as Lou Gerhig’s Disease. He has been paralyzed unable to use every muscle in his body. The only muscles he has use of are those around his eyes. This explains why Hawking has become a theoretician rather than a “hands-on” scientist. He spends hour after hour in his wheelchair pondering complex ideas and formulating mind bobbling equations in his head.

Dr. Hawking’s work is primarily in the field of general relativity and in particular on the physics of black holes. He uses his theory on the origin of black holes to help explain the creation of the universe. In 1971 he suggested the formation (following the big bang), of numerous objects containing as much as 1,000,000,000 tons of mass but occupying only the space of a proton. These objects, called mini- black holes, are unique in that because of their immense mass and gravity, they are ruled by the laws if relativity, while their minute size requires that the laws of quantum mechanics apply to them also. In 1974, Hawking proposed that, in accordance with the predications of quantum theory, black holes emit subatomic particles until they exhaust all their energy and finally explode. Hawking’s work spurred efforts to theoretically delineate the properties of black holes. It was previously thought that nothing could be learned about black holes. Now we know that each black hole starts out as a star about ten times the size of the sun. Over time, the star burns all its nuclear fuel and explodes.
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