Inspired by Penrose’s theorem of space-time singularity, he wrote a thesis in 1965 by applying the concept on the entire universe, which was approved in 1966 granting Hawking his doctorate degree. He then started working closely with Penrose. In 1968, he became a member of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. Inspired by Penrose’s theories on black holes, he started working on black hole phenomena and postulated what came to be known as the second law of black hole dynamics.
In 1974, Hawking made a huge scientific revelation that black hole was not the information vacuum as earlier stated by scientists. He demonstrated how radiation can escape the gravitational force; the theory is now known as the Hawking radiation. The same year, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society.
In 1979, he was appointed the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the Cambridge University.
After a tracheotomy operation in 1985, Hawking lost his voice completely. David Mason, a computer engineer and Hawking’s second wife’s first husband, customized a speech synthesizer for the scientist’s use.
In 1988, Hawking published “A Brief History of Time,” which was a simplified version of cosmology for masses. The book became a bestseller, selling over 10 million copies in 20 years.
After separating from his first wife in 1990, Hawking married his nurse Elaine Mason in 1995. The marriage lasted for 11 years and the couple got divorced in 2006.
In 2007, Hawking went on a zero-gravity flight in a Boeing 747, which took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S.
In 2009, Hawking retired as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics
Hawking has received many awards, including Copley Medal (2006), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009) and BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2015).
Hawking was conferred an honorary doctorate by Imperial College London in July 2017. Accepting the honor, he stated, “I have always felt a deep affinity with Imperial. It gives me great pleasure to accept this honor.”
On March 14, 2018, Hawking died at the age of 76. His children, Lucy, Robert and Timothy, released a statement, “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.” He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”
May his soul Rest In Peace
Written By: Alka Prasad