Stephen Hawking dies at 76

Sad news for the science and the humanity: Professor Stephen Hawking (born 8 January 1942) died in his home in Cambridge, England, early in the morning of 14 March 2018. From astronauts to world leaders, tributes have poured in for the modern British physicist and author.

NASA has tweeted that: “Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014”

In 2007, Hawking participated in zero-gravity flight in a reduced-gravity aircraft, courtesy of Zero Gravity Corporation, during which he experienced weightlessness eight times. Zero Gravity Corporation (also known as ZERO-G) is an American company based in Arlington, Virginia, formerly of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which operates weightless flights from United States airports. Fliers undergo a brief training session before embarking. A flight lasts 90 to 100 minutes, and consists of fifteen parabolas, each of which simulates about 30 seconds of reduced gravity: one that simulates Martian gravity (one-third of Earth’s), two that simulate Lunar gravity (one-sixth of Earth’s), and 12 that simulate weightlessness. Each parabola begins with the aircraft climbing at a 45-degree angle at approximately 23,000 feet (7,000 m), peaks at 32,000 ft (9,800 m), and ends with the aircraft pointed down at a 30-degree angle.

Stephen Hawking in Zero-G Plane
Stephen Hawking in Zero-G Plane (2007). Image: wikimedia

Nature Video below explores three of the publications that shaped Stephen Hawking’s career and his legacy.

English physicist who serves as professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester, Brian Cox, has said that: “There are many good theoretical physicists who make a big contribution, but there aren’t that many greats. And by that I mean that I think there are physicists in a thousand years’ time, they will still be talking about Hawking radiation, they will be using his fundamental results on black holes.”

Eddie Redmayne, who starred as Professor Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, said in a statement: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet. My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”

Emily Calandrelli, an Emmy-nominated TV host and the host and producer of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space, wrote in his facebook page: “Advice that Stephen Hawking gave his children: ‘One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.’

Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking. Thank you for the work you did to help us understand our place in the universe.”


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