- NAME: Stephen Hawking
- OCCUPATION: Physicist
- BIRTH DATE: January 08, 1942 (Age: 72)
- EDUCATION: Oxford University, University of Cambridge, California Institute of Technology, Gonville & Caius College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Oxford, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Stephen William Hawking
- AKA: Stephen Hawking
- ZODIAC SIGN: Capricorn
Best Known For
Stephen Hawking is known for his work regarding black holes and for authoring several popular science books. He suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Stephen Hawking's chief theory is that black holes should emit radiation, which is known as Hawking radiation. His popular science book, "A Brief History of Time," has made science accessible to everyone.
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Of course, as it is with any celebrity, fame has brought with it an interest in Hawking's personal life. And there have been some news-making events. In 1990, Hawking left his wife, Jane, for one of his nurses, Elaine Mason. The two were married in 1995, and the marriage put a strain on Hawking's relationship with his own children, who claimed Elaine closed off their father from them. In 2004,
nurses looking after Hawking reported their suspicions to police that Elaine was physically abusing her husband. Hawking denied the allegations, and the police investigation was called off.
In 2006, however, Hawking and Elaine filed for divorce. In the years since, the physicist has apparently grown closer with his family. He's reconciled with Jane, who has remarried, and published a science book for children with his daughter, Lucy.
Hawking's health, of course, remains a constant concern—a worry that was heightened in early 2009 when he failed to appear at a conference in Arizona because of a chest infection. In April 2009, Hawking, who had already announced he was retiring after 30 years from the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, was rushed to the hospital for being what university officials described as "gravely ill." It was later announced that he was expected to make a full recovery.
Hawking is scheduled to fly to the edge of space as one of Sir Richard Branson's pioneer space tourists. He said when asked about the subject in 2007, "Many people have asked me why I am taking this flight. I am doing it for many reasons... First of all, I believe that life on Earth is at an ever increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space."
In September 2010, Hawking spoke against the idea that God could have created the universe in his book The Grand Design. Hawking previously argued that belief in a creator could be compatible with modern scientific theories. His new work, however, concludes that the Big Bang was the inevitable consequence of the laws of physics and nothing more. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," Hawking says. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist."
The Grand Design is Hawking's first major publication in almost a decade. Within his new work, Hawking sets out to challenge Sir Isaac Newton's belief that the universe had to have been designed by God, simply because it could not have been born from chaos. "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going," Hawking said.
Hawking made news in 2012 for two very different projects. It was revealed in early April that he had participated in a 2011 trial of a new headband-styled device called the iBrain.
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