A Small Essay about Stephen Hawking -BiographyA most wonderful article
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Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942. Hawking's father was a research biologist, he had two younger sisters and one (adopted) brother.
Stephen grew up in London until age 8, when the Hawking family moved to St Albans in Hertfordshire. He was a good student, although not an exceptional one, but he was always interested in science.
Later on, at University College, Oxford, Stephen Hawking wanted to study mathematics - but this was not offered at University College, so he chose physics. Hawking finished university in Oxford in 1962, but stayed there to study astronomy. Finally he left Oxford for Trinity Hall, Cambridge, to study theoretical astronomy and cosmology.
Just after arriving at Cambridge at age 21, symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) first appeared. ALS is a neuron disease which can cause a total loss of muscular control - doctors said Stephen would not survive more than two or three years, so he didn't see much point in obtaining a doctorate any more.
But everything changed in 1965, when Stephen Hawking finally married Jane Wilde and regained interest in finishing his studies. Hawking gained his Ph. D., became a Research Fellow and later on a Professorial Fellow.
A few years later, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose studied mathematical models derived from Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity and in 1970 Hawking was able to prove a singularity theorem that showed that singularities (black holes for example) could indeed exist. Stephen could also prove that a black hole can be fully described by mass, momentum and charge ("black holes are hairless").
Then, in 1974, Stephen Hawking was able to prove that black holes emit radiation and thus black holes can also evaporate. Finally he also developed a model of a universe without boundaries and space-time. The same year Stephen Hawking was elected as one of the youngest Fellows of the Royal Society.
String theories gained popularity, and soon Stephen stared working on unification models of the various string theories to find the "theory of everything". But he gradually lost the use of his arms and legs, and soon he needed a wheelchair. In 1985, Hawking contracted pneumonia, which was life-threatening and cost him his voice. Since then Stephen Hawking has to use a voice synthesizer to communicate.
Stephen Hawking was already a well known person among scientists back then, but he really became famous in 1988 after publishing his first book entitled "A Brief History of Time". It rapidly became a best-seller and can be considered to be one of the most popular books of all times.
In 1991 Jane and Stephen separated - it is rumored that Jane had problems with both Stephen's disease and the enormous press coverage and fame after the release of this book. Stephen finally married his nurse Elaine Mason in 1995 (and filed for divorce in October 2006).
Today Stephen Hawking is almost completely paralyzed, but he's still working and still hopes to find a theory of everything one day.