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Remembering Stephen Hawking

Author Name: Sam Helm | OCL Administrator  

Published On Mar 14th, 2018

We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that, I am extremely grateful. – Stephen Hawking

Physically bound to a wheelchair, yet intellectually capable of exploring the greatest depths of the cosmos, Dr. Stephen Hawking was a science icon.

Never one to search out praise, it's likely Dr. Hawking would be embarrassed at the media frenzy surrounding his passing, as he often remarked the comparisons between himself and Einstein were exaggerated.

And yet, few in history have inspired like Dr. Hawking. Diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in his 20's, Dr. Hawking would spend most of his life confined to wheelchair. This binding would be ironic, for the very forces that held him in his chair would be the same forces that he would dedicate a lifetime to understanding.

His greatest contributions would be in understanding black holes, applying quantum theory where none had before him. After countless calculations, Hawking would discover that black holes were as unstable as the stars that had formed them, emitting radiation and particles, before finally exploding and disappearing.

These radioactive emissions would be come known as Hawking radiation, redefining our understanding of black holes from destroyers of matter to something more akin to a universal transfer station.

He also championed science literacy, creating a series of children's books designed to make understanding the universe accessible to children, along with his best selling book "A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bank to Black Holes."

Dr. Hawking died on March 14, 2018 in his home.