The Passing of Physicist Stephen Hawking

Did you know Stephen Hawking was also a 'rock star'?

The man who was confined to a motorized wheelchair and was known for his trademark computer-synthesized voice after he lost his ability to speak to a tracheotomy was known for his "theory of everything" that suggested the universe evolves according to well-defined laws. But he continued his theoretical work and was outspoken on many things over much of his life. "I think we should keep our heads low".

In his almost hour-long remarks on August 24 titled "Quantum Black Holes", Hawking spoke about one of the most complex questions facing physics today: how to resolve the paradox between Einstein's theory of gravity, which predicts the loss of physical information in the formation of black holes, and a fundamental law of quantum theory, which states that no information about the physical state of anything can ever disappear from the universe.

Hawking invoked the name of God in his seminal book A Brief History of Time, writing that if physicists could find a "theory of everything" - that is, a cohesive explanation for how the universe works - they would glimpse "the mind of God". But now science offers a more convincing explanation. He was also wonderfully amusing with a fantastic media savviness that propelled him into A-list celebrity stardom as few other scientists before. "He was a triumph of what we, as humans, can achieve". The problem is even more pronounced in the Philippines where we have a president who forces me to mute the TV every time he opens his mouth and my kids are around.

While his many contributions will live on there is no doubt that science and the wider world is the poorer for his passing.

They recalled how he would attend dinners at the college, where he was treated like a rock star by students and academics, who would queue up for photos - but didn't take himself too seriously.

Hansson read Hawking's A Brief History of Time in middle school and credited it with fueling his drive to study physics.

It was a fantastic example of how even the most complex and challenging ideas can capture the imagination, when they're explained in the right way.

Oliver himself shared video of their interview and wrote, "Stephen Hawking was a brilliant man, but he was also an incredibly amusing man". Previously nothing was believed to escape the black hole's intense gravity.

But he was much more than a skilled cosmologist. This is the true strength of his legacy. We were involved from the very start with the production of the film The Theory of Everything and it was an incredibly powerful tool for further raising awareness of motor neurone disease. In Hawking's theory there was no relationship between matter going into a black hole and matter coming out, whereas quantum mechanics postulates that information is stored at a black hole's event horizon, and encoded back into radiation as the black hole radiates.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also paid tribute to the physicist - who was a Labour supporter - and said he "inspired the world with his determination to explain the mysteries of the cosmos" and "showed breathtaking courage to overcome life's adversities". Hence his support for Breakthrough Listen, the search for alien life in the Universe.

Fellow actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who also played the physicist in a 2004 BBC TV film, remembered his "wickedly amusing sense of humour".

Hawking said there is the potential that machines could one day do all the work in society, and that fair distribution of the profits from that work would be the key. In the episode, called "Descent, Part 1" Hawking plays poker with Starship Enterprise Lieutenant Commander Data, as well as some other brilliant minds in physics: Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.

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