15 Must-Know Facts About Stephen Hawking For Science Readers | Kidadl


15 Must-Know Facts About Stephen Hawking For Science Readers

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Stephen Hawking, a world renowned scientist, was born on January 08, 1942, in Oxford, England.

Stephen Hawkins went on to become a world leading scientist, awarded the Hughes Medal in 1976, and the Albert Einstein Award and Medal in 1978 and 1979 respectively. He was not only a developer of scientific theories, but he was a children's books author as well.

Stephen Hawking believed that improving technology was critical to humanity's existence, but he was also concerned about artificial intelligence research (A.I.). 'In addition to the benefits, A.I. will offer risks, such as strong autonomous weapons or new ways for the few to control the many,' he remarked in 2014, at the introduction of Cambridge University's Center for the Future of Intelligence. Hawking was particularly interested in the topic because, despite his concerns about where artificial intelligence might lead, he has benefited significantly from breakthroughs in the field. Hawking began communicating by clenching his cheek in 2005. A machine learning algorithm turned these cheek movements into sound utilizing technology that could detect them, steadily improving in consistency and speed at the machine algorithm learned from the speech patterns of Hawking.

Stephen Hawking was of the opinion that there is no heaven. The scientist had a pragmatic view around death. He used to associate the living brain with a computer, as it will stop working after the other components fail. He believed that no heaven exists and that people have created this concept just to protect the human race from the dark. Stephen Hawking later clarified that he wasn't referencing to a creator in the conventional sense in various interviews and publications, such as The Grand Design.

Hawking received numerous awards for his contributions to physics. In 1974, he was recognized as one of the Royal Society's youngest fellows. In 1977, he was named professor of gravitational physics at Cambridge, and in 1979, he was named to the Lucasian professorship of mathematics at Cambridge, a position previously held by Isaac Newton. Stephen Hawking was appointed a Companion of Honor in 1989 and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1982. In 2006, the Royal Society awarded him with the Copley medal, and in 2009, the Presidential Medal of Freedom was given to him by the United States. In 2008, he accepted a visiting research chair at Waterloo, Ontario, Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Stephen believed in a 'impersonal God,' but not in one who created the universe. In his book 'A Brief History of Time', Hawking evoked the name of God, stating that physicists might see 'the mind of God' if they could find a 'theory of everything' - that is, a coherent explanation for how the world operates. Stephen Hawking told TIME following the book's release that using terminology about God is more symbolic than literal.

The Life History of Stephen Hawking

Stephen William Hawking grew up in a family which considered education to be vitally important. Both of his parents were from Oxford University, and they surrounded their home and family life with books and a drive to study and learn. Their daily dinner routine used to be very silent.

In his teenage years, Stephen Hawkins and his friend created a computer using an old clock, switchboards and, a number of recycled items. He used to get called ‘Einstein’ by his friends. When Stephen Hawking reached the age of 17, he started to study physics and chemistry at Oxford University. But mentioned that the first year of college was very boring for him.

He later went to Cambridge University, after graduating from Oxford University, to pursue cosmology (study of the origin of the universe). He was married twice (to second wife Elaine Mason after leaving Jane Wilde) and had three children in total.

But life had another plan for him, when he reached the age of 21, he developed terminal motor neurone disease and was told he had two years to live.

Gradually, he developed problems with doing basic tasks, like walking, talking, and eating. He gradually stopped being able to walk freely and started using sticks and crutches. But day by day, his illness became worse, and he had to shift to the electric wheelchair to perform daily tasks. He was called notorious in university for driving his chair very fast and annoying the students and staff.

He developed influential theories around the origin and formation of the universe and black holes, and widened our understanding of the concepts of the universe. Stephen always wanted to share his work and help others.

In the year 1985, Stephen Hawking developed an infection that could end his life. He recieved an emergency operation that saved his life, but caused him to lose the ability to talk. He then was given a unique kind of computer to help him communicate without being able to speak. He used to control this computer using the muscles of his cheek.

He has written many books that helped to explain his complex theories to people who do not hail from a science background. A famous book of Stephen's named ‘A Brief History of Time’ was a best-selling book. He has received a lot of awards for his work, that includes the 1979 Albert Einstein Medal, the Wolf Prize of 1988, and the Order of the British Empire in 1982. He is still remembered as an inspiration to not just scientists, but also to common people as well.

Famous Discoveries And Theories

1970 – Singularities

Einstein's theory of gravity also mentions singularities, which are regions where space-time seems to be indefinitely curved. Singularities could form in black holes, as proved by Roger Penrose.

Later, Stephen Hawking finished ground breaking research on singularities and extended it to the rest of the universe, suggesting that singularities are created by gravitation. He also claimed that Einstein's big bang concept foresaw a singularity.

Black Hole Mechanics Laws – 1971-72

Stephen Hawking first established the equations of black hole mechanics. The total surface area of a giant black hole can not shrink, according to his first law. Another term for it is the Hawking area theorem. Black holes are exceedingly hot, according to a different law.

Theory of Cosmic Inflation – 1982

Cosmic inflation, as postulated by Alan Guth in 1980, is a scenario wherein the Universe increases exponentially following the big bang. Stephen Hawking is among the first scientists to contemplate the quantum fluctuations, that are the minor deviations in distributions of matter, resulting in the expansion of galaxies in the Universe.

Universe’s Wave Function Model – 1983

Stephen Hawkins wanted to develop a quantum theory of gravity. In 1983, he and James Hartle published a model dubbed the Hartle-Hawking state. Time was not even a factor of consideration before the big bang event, according to this theory, and hence the idea of the universe's beginning is meaningless. The Universe has no inherent time or space constraints.

His famous book 'A Brief History of Time' was published in 1988.

This book has talked about a range of cosmological subjects, such as the black holes, light cones, and the big bang, among others. This book broke the previous record of 237 weeks on The Sunday Times best-seller list, to become the best-selling book in the United Kingdom.

Top-Down Cosmology Theory – 2006

Stephen Hawkins and Thomas Hertog presented the 'top-down cosmology' idea in 2006, which states that the Universe is made up of a lot of superpositions with several initial conditions rather than a unique initial state. Several other volumes have been published, including The Universe in a Nutshell (2001).

Books By Stephen Hawking

A machine learning algorithm

Not only theories, but Stephen Hawking has also written many books too.


A Brief History of Time

The Grand Design

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

The Universe in a Nutshell A Briefer History of Time

The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe

Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays

The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell

My Brief History

Black Holes: The Reith Lectures

On the Shoulders of Giants: The Great Works of Physics and Astronomy

God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History

The Nature of Space and Time

Stephen Hawking's a Brief History of Time: A Reader's Companion

The Future of Spacetime

Unlocking the Universe

The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: The Most Astounding Papers of Quantum Physics--and How They Shook the Scientific World

A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion: The Essential Scientific Works of Albert Einstein

The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time

Stephen Hawking's Life Works: The Cambridge Lectures

Hawking on the Big Bang and Black Holes

Theories of the Universe

Awards Won By Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He received the CBE in 1982, the Companion of Honor in 1989, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993. He was then awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1985. In 1987, he was awarded the Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics and in 1988 he was awarded Wolf Prize in Physics. Many accolades, medals, and prizes have been bestowed upon him, including the Fundamental Physics Prize (2013), the Copley Medal (2006), and the Wolf Foundation Prize (1988). Stephen was a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award, in 1989 for Concord award.

In 1974, he was awarded a Fellow of the Royal Society, putting him at the top of the list (FRS). Stephen Hawking's other notable contributions include the interpretation of cosmic findings and the development of gravitational wave sensors.

Hawking and Viatcheslav Mukhanov earned the 2015 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences for demonstrating that galaxies were generated in the early Universe by quantum fluctuations. Stephen Hawking also received the lifetime achievement award 'for his contributions to the field of science and British culture' at the 2016 Pride of Britain Awards. He was also given the Special Fundamental Physics Prize in 2012.

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Nidhi Sahai

<p>Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.</p>

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