Stephen Hawking, a man who sought to explain the origin of the Universe, the nature of time and the mysteries of the black holes died on Wednesday morning at the age of 76.
We know Hawkings as a great mind who went on to revolutionize physics and cosmology — the study of the origin and evolution of the universe and it might come as a shock that he was a slacker when it came to his school studies.
In his early 20s, Hawkings was diagnosed with ALS, a degenerative nerve disorder, and doctors expected him to live only for a few years but for all the good things he survived for more than half a century.
Hawking once said – “My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the Universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”
Though a familiar name, many of us might not be aware of his contributions to science. So, let us discover his theories that shaped the modern science.
Hawking’s most notable achievement was his work on the Big Bang Theory. The theory which is widely accepted today for the origin of the Universe was once an idea that seemed preposterous. Even Fred Hoyle, who coined the term back in 1949, didn’t believe the theory.
However, Hawking with his fellow Roger Penrose indicated that the universe originated with a singularity, a place where space and time are indistinguishable. This research supported the Big Bang theory.
The British physicist explained that black holes are not really black and they do emit heat and eventually vanish in an extremely slow process. The theory stated that the bigger the black hole the more energy will be released.
How galaxies might arise
The British physicist also explained that how the universe expanded exponentially just after the big bang before slowing down to expand at a slower pace.
Hawking was the first person to explain how different galaxies in the universe are formed due to quantum fluctuations.
How the Universe began
Hawking is also known for combining two key theories of physics- Quantum Theory and Einstien’s General Relativity.
Hawking proposed a new theory known as the quantum theory of gravity. For this purpose, he collaborated with Jim Hartle. The theory states that the Universe has no origins and there was nothing before the big bang.
A brief history of time
In the year 1988, he published a book titled ‘A Brief History of Time’. The book puts forward his deep thinking about how the universe began, black holes and big bang in a non-technical language for the general people to understand. The book sold more than 10 million copies in 20 years.