Have you ever imagined, how all the stars and planets rotates or how the universe is created? The universe is very vast and its depths are unknown to mankind, it not only contains planets but also consists of numerous galaxies, stars, and comets. There are many intriguing things about the universe such as big bang theory, Halley’s Comet or black hole and the person behind these mysterious theories is a man who is physically challenged but mentally challenging the scientists and has discarded many old theories, his name is Stephen Hawking.
My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all. – Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England and he is the son of Frank Hawking and Isobel Hawking who were college mates at the University of Oxford. His father was a medical researcher with especially in tropical diseases. He was born at a very inappropriate time because at that time World War II was going on, England was under the attack by Germany so they shifted to Oxford to remain protected. Stephen is the eldest child of Frank and Isobel, and he has three more siblings Mary, Philippa, and Edward. Edward was an adopted child.
He studied in a very renowned school, but couldn’t score well, because his interest lied somewhere else. He was very fond of studying Mathematics and unravel the mysterious of space science, but his father wanted him to become a medical student. Along with some of his friends, he created a board game in their school and constructed a computer using recycled parts for solving mathematics equations. Oxford doesn’t offer courses in Mathematics so he chose to pursue Physics for future studies and started taking interests in the theories of space. In 1962, he completed his graduation with honors in Natural Science and applied for Trinity Hall to further get a Ph.D. in Cosmology. Hawking was inspired by the work of Roger Penrose, a cosmologist who knows very much about the stars and black holes.
There were some occasions when Hawking stumbled and fell many times during the conferences in the college but he didn’t considered those things seriously and looked over it. One day while going to college, he fell from stairs straight to the end and when he woke up, he had no idea where he was but this incident wasn’t enough for him to visit a doctor. When he was 21, his father noticed these things and took him to the hospital, he was admitted to the hospital for two weeks to get checked up. The result was too astonishing as he was suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Hawking took this disease in a different way and thought that he had only two and a half year left to complete and achieve everything. He also said that “Before my condition is diagnosed, I had been very bored with life, there had not seemed to be anything worth doing.”. He continued his study and research with more interest because he knew that there might be a chance that he dies before completing his Ph.D. from Trinity Hall.
Later, he met a girl named as Jane Wilde and started liking her. Although she was informed about the illness yet she agreed to marry him. In 1969, Stephen lost the capability of walking and standing by himself, during this crucial moment his wife supported him with all her might and even brought a wheelchair for him to move around. In 1968, when his son was born, Stephen became a member of Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. Despite all the disabilities, unable to write and talk, he published his first book,”The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time” in 1973. He became very famous when he stated that the black holes are not the information vacuums as explained by the scientist, he stated that matter can escape the gravitational force of star in the form of radiation and that’s how Hawking radiation is invented.
In 1985, during his trip to Geneva, he was affected by pneumonia and struggled with breathing problems. Doctors performed Tracheotomy on Stephen and due to this operation, he lost his capabilities of speaking. Stephen regained his voice with the help received from a California-based company Words Plus, who gave him a machine through which now he can communicate with someone by simply using a hand clicker that allows him to select words and alphabets.
Without the help from his wife, Stephen couldn’t have survived during his struggles. Stephen also said that Jane was the reason for his living. She encouraged him to study and live more than the doctors were expecting him. After supporting him for years, she became irritated of her own life and got depressed which led to an emotional breakdown and started having an affair with a man named John. Seeing this Stephen moved into another house with his nurse, Elaine Mason, and later he & Jane got divorced. Stephen again got married to Elaine, but the relationship didn’t work well and resulted in another divorce. Jane said that the time she spent with Stephen was one of the best moments of her life and wrote an autobiography, ‘Music to Move the Stars- A Life with Stephen’.
Stephen became very popular because of his Black Hole Theory and left the scientists in shock by his theory. He won many prizes and achievements for his theories and researched on many things after that and came up with amazing results. He put quantum physics along with space to give the new definition of Universe. Even after the doctor’s predictions, Stephen Hawking is still alive and living a good life, he canceled the schedule of his death.
Here are some bonus facts about Stephen Hawking-
1.In college, Stephen once felt depressed after becoming the member of the Rowing team of Oxford.
2.He is the one who told that universe is infinite and has no boundaries.
3.In 2004, he lost a bet with his friend regarding the black hole theory.
4.He believes in Aliens and Time Travelling and loves to write books for children.
5.He was born on the 300th death anniversary of Galileo.
6.He met his wife just before he was diagnosed with ASL and there is also a movie based on his life events, “The Theory of Everything”.
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