Tributes have flooded in for Stephen Hawking, the renowned scientist and thinker who passed away aged 76.
Hawking died peacefully at his home, surrounded by family, in the early hours of Wednesday March 14.
The eminent scientist’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, announced the news this morning.
Their statement reads:
He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.
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.
NASA have also remembered Professor Hawking as a ‘renowned physicist and ambassador of science’ with a beautiful tribute on Twitter.
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.
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 pic.twitter.com/FeR4fd2zZ5
— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2018
They also shared a video tribute to the British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who dedicated his life to answering the question of the universe.
Hawking was Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge, whose scientific works include a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity.
He put forward the theoretical prediction stating black holes emit radiation, which is now often called Hawking radiation.
Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics and was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
While Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, said:
We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking.
We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking. https://t.co/ectv7r4UIm
— Tim Berners-Lee (@timberners_lee) March 14, 2018
Hawking was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease, but with a keen mind and his infamous wit, he managed to fight it to the grand old age of 76.
His life and work was documented in the award-winning The Theory Of Everything:
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The greatest mind of our generation defied medical opinion, despite suffering from the disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The disease left him unable to speak and in need of constant care, but this didn’t prevented him from continuing his incredible work in science.
In 1988, he released the seminal book A Brief History of Time, which has since sold 10 million copies. He continued to give speeches and lectures until his death.
As well as being a revolutionary in the science world, Hawking has become a role model for many with disabilities, speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
He understood that disability never defines you better than most:
The ALS Association aims to discover treatments and a cure for ALS and to serve, advocate for and empower, people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest.
You can donate here.