Stephen Hawking fuelled UNB physicist's curiosity early on

Stephen Hawking fuelled UNB physicist's curiosity early on

Stephen Hawking and Lord Rees worked together in recent years on the Breakthrough Life in the Universe Initiatives. "I think that it's important for scientists to explain their work, particularly in cosmology", he explained to The Guardian on why he was writing "A Briefer History of Time".

In order to make his career more transcendental, Hawking, who was born in Oxford in 1942, challenged a death sentence when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, at the age of 21. His book A Brief History of Time, for example, became a best seller for close to four years.

"One of the great things about Hawking was he broke that communication barrier between scientists and regular people".

"Hawking shot to worldwide fame after the 1988 publication of "?A Brief History of Time", one of the most complex books ever to achieve mass appeal, which stayed on the Sunday Times best-sellers list for no fewer than 237 weeks.?

For more than 5 decades, Stephen Hawking, 76, battled ALS - a neurological disease that gradually immobilized his entire body and rendered him speechless.

Hawking died peacefully at his home in the British university city of Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday. Until Hawking discovered radiation coming from black holes - named "Hawking radiation" after him - the two giant theories in physics, Einstein's general relativity and quantum mechanics, often conflicted.

"If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God". "#StephenHawking is free from the physical constraints of this earthly condition we all exist in and he is soaring above us now marveling at it all". But as he got older, Hawking left open the possibility that there may be a creator God, but never dismissed science.

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"But one can't help asking the question: Why does the universe exist?" he said in 1991. Images of him in his wheelchair coupled with the robotic but warm sound of his speech gave him a recognizable identity. "But it bothers me".

"He was a fun person to work with and had a great sense of humour".

He made cameo television appearances in "The Simpsons", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", and the "The Big Bang Theory" and counted among his fans U2 guitarist The Edge, who attended a January 2002 celebration of Hawking's 60th birthday.

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One of Hawking's legacies will be that he demonstrated how even severe disabilities need not stop someone from achieving lofty goals.

Richard Green, of the Motor Neurone Disease Association - the British name for ALS - said Hawking met the classic definition of the disease, as "the ideal mind trapped in an imperfect body".

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