Stephen Hawking is known all over the world. Even those who understand nothing or very little about astrophysics, theoretical physics, or any sort physics at all know his name. A great scientist and celebrity, Stephen Hawking is the author of a number of books where he explains the principles of the universe in the easiest possible way. The easy explanation and the author’s excellent writing skills made the books bestsellers at once.
Along with his exciting discoveries in the sphere of black holes, relativity, quantum mechanics and others, Stephen Hawking’s life is something amazing too! He can be called an example of courage and willpower.
Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford in 1942. Both his parents were Oxford University graduates, and their children’s education was a priority in the family. In fact, Stephen didn’t perform as a particularly bright boy in his early years. However, later, science subjects captured his interest and his academic results were more impressive. He became a student of University College in Oxford and found the academic work there not difficult at all. He felt a bit bored but enjoyed his life as a student - he loved parties, music, and science fiction. He joined the College Boat Club and was a member of the rowing crew. Stephen successfully completed his course in Oxford and switched to Cambridge to study for his PhD.
At the age of 21, when a Cambridge student, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with a serious disease, ALS, which was due to some genetic mutations. In simple terms, the nerves that controlled his muscles failed to work and he was losing control over his body. Even now, the origin of the disease is unclear and there is no cure for it. The doctors informed Stephen that he would live two and a half years at most. In a sense, the tragic news got him to make a sort of revision of his life. He realised that he probably would not have enough time to earn his PhD and he focused on his studies and research. He worked passionately and his growing physical disability seemed only to enhance the power of his intellect.
Stephen’s wife, Jane, a language student who he married in 1965, supported him a lot. She typed and edited Stephen Hawking’s academic works, helped him during his conferences, and managed his medical procedures. Along with that, Mrs. Hawking took care of their three children and had her own career.
In spite of the doctors’ verdict, Stephen Hawking lived until 2018, when he died at the age of 76. For decades he was confined to a wheelchair, but travelled, worked for the most prestigious universities and even planned to go to space. He lost the ability to speak but easily communicated through a computer using a speech generating device. His super intellect made the greatest contribution to science ever. Till the very last days he worked and his final research was published in May 2018, shortly after his death. Indeed, Stephen Hawking is thought to be one of the greatest minds in physics since Albert Einstein.
Stephen Hawking defined his life purpose like this: ‘My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.’