Stephen Hawking Essay

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Stephen Hawking’s brilliance and popularity can easily be identified as a near equivalent as that of Darwin, Newton, or Einstein. Some of his greatest achievements include defining and redefining black holes, analyzing the beginning of time and space, and popularizing science. In 1974, Hawking presented a theory so radical, it would be later recognized as “Hawking radiation.” He argued that black holes actually emit energy. This point—although seemingly insignificant—brought key concepts of classical and quantum physics together, reshaping the way scientists see the universe. In 1983, Hawking worked together with James Hartle to propose yet another theory: the universe has no physical boundaries. Traveling the length of the universe would be…show more content…
Furthermore, in 1973, he started studying quantum gravity and quantum mechanics. Hawking continued to pursue his work in physics and regularly engaged in “scientific wagers” (scientific debates) with other scientists. Scientists don’t normally achieve celebrity status, especially in their own lifetime. Stephen Hawking remains as one of the handful who continue to break that mold. Scientists whose ideas opposed his openly and continuously criticized him, complaining that his status gave him the unfair advantage of “instant credibility.” Many believe that Hawking’s iconic side has overshadowed the physicist that he really is. With the ever expanding mass media, rarely anything said in Hawking’s monotonic robot tone is without near instant credibility. The presumption is that Hawking must be an undeniable source of wisdom. Regardless of his genius, he is capable of making mistakes just like every other human being. Plenty of people rob him this aspect of his humanity because of his inspiring story. As a whole, society is still uncomfortable with disability—fascinated with the idea that someone so disabled can be so…show more content…
In 2014, he accepted the ALS/Ice Bucket challenge but had to have his children take it on his behalf due to his pneumonia. From 1979 to 2009, Hawking was the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, a mathematics professorship in the University of Cambridge, England. This position is recognized as one of the most prestigious academic posts in the world. Its former posts included Isaac Newton and George Stokes. After retiring from his post in 2009, he accepted a Distinguished Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. In the same year that he retired, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2017, Hawking warned that humans need to colonize the moon or another planet within the next 100 years or risk the threat of extinction, shortening his deadline for interplanetary colonization from 1000 years. This warning was founded on the dangers from nuclear war, global warming, genetically engineered viruses, and artificial intelligence. In the same year, Hawking criticized the Trump administration for their treatment of government scientists. An example of this is when the EPA and the Department of Agriculture received orders to remove web pages, reportedly even having to submit their report to Washington for approval. After his open critique, Hawking fears that he’s
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