Science mourns Stephen Hawking's death

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

Renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking passed away on Tuesday, his family members announced.

His family released a statement in the early hours of Wednesday confirming his death at his home in Cambridge, The Guardian reported.

Doctors predicted he would only live a few years, but he instead thrived, focusing on his work that included seeking to bridge the gap between Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity that describes the motion of large objects and the Theory of Quantum Mechanics dealing with subatomic particles.

"His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, aIt would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him for ever", the statement added.

Published for the first time in 1988, "A Brief History of Time" stayed on the Sunday Times bestsellers list for an unprecedented 237 weeks.

Professor Stephen Hawking is pictured during a visit to Cape Finisterre, some 90 km from Santiago, northwestern Spain in 2008.

His 1988 book "A Brief History of Time" became an global bestseller and brought him widespread fame. His best-known prediction, named by the community as Hawking Radiation, transformed black holes from inescapable gravitational prisons into objects that instead shrink and fade away over time. Despite being wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication, Hawking continued his research into theoretical physics. He was able to move only a few fingers on one hand and was completely dependent on others or on technology for virtually everything - bathing, dressing, eating, even speech.

"I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not that many".

The British physicist was born in Oxford in 1942. "Stephen Hawking will be remembered for his incredible contributions to science - making complex theories and concepts more accessible to the masses", tweeted Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Newton was a previous holder of that prestigious post.

Pop culture fans should recognise Hawking from his guest spot (as his own hologram) in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Descent", or his appearances on The Simpsons, Futurama, and others. He was also wonderfully amusing with a fantastic media savviness that propelled him into A-list celebrity stardom as few other scientists before.

His life has been portrayed in various movies where award-winning actors like Benedict Cumberbatch (Hawking) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) played his character.

Former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power underlined Hawking's kind heart in addition to his brilliant mind.

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