(ORDO NEWS) — Even if you are not a fan of science and have never followed the breakthrough advances in cosmology, then you still most likely heard of Professor Stephen Hawking (January 8, 1942 – March 14, 2018).
Stephen Hawking is the genius who made complex physical theories available to the general public, writing numerous popular science books, including the acclaimed Brief History of Time.
Stephen Hawking has lived a challenging but rewarding life, fighting a debilitating illness incessantly. He is one of the most respected people in the world.
Today marks the 80th anniversary of the birth of the great scientist, and in honor of this event we present to your attention 10 interesting facts from the life of the inimitable Stephen Hawking.
He did poorly at school
Stephen Hawking became famous all over the world as a genius with a brilliant mind, but during his school years he studied rather poorly. When he was nine years old, his performance was among the worst in the class. Wanting to rectify the situation, little Stephen put in a little more effort to become the best.
He didn’t like biology
Despite his fanatical interest in science, Stephen Hawking had little interest in biology. He believed that biology is “too descriptive and imprecise” a field of science, which is the exact opposite of physics.
He was only given a few years to live
While attending Oxford University, when Hawking was 21, he began to show symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Under pressure from his family, he visited a specialist who diagnosed him with the disease and said that he had only a few years to live. However, Stephen Hawking lived much longer, calling every new day a miracle.
One of the founders of the theory of the limitless universe
One of Hawking’s major scientific achievements is the creation of a theory explaining that the universe has no boundaries.
In 1983, he and American physicist James Hartle combined the concept of quantum mechanics with Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity to show that the universe is a closed system and has no boundaries.
He nearly died in 1985
In Geneva, Hawking nearly died after contracting pneumonia. While he was unconscious and connected to a ventilator, the option of disconnecting him from life support was considered, which was opposed by his then wife Jane. Hawking underwent a tracheotomy, which permanently deprived him of the ability to speak, leading to the creation of the famous speech synthesizer.
His speech synthesizer has an American accent
The original speech synthesizer was created by a California company. A speech program was installed in his wheelchair that allowed him to “speak” by using a hand clicker to select words on a computer screen. After Hawking lost the ability to move his fingers, he used an infrared switch mounted on his glasses to help select words with the movement of his cheeks. His now world-renowned American “voice” has remained unchanged through all the upgrades to the machine.
He has appeared on television many times
Hawking made a guest appearance on an episode of the 1993 TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also voiced his characters in The Simpsons, Futurama and The Big Bang Theory.
He is the author of children’s books
In 2007, Stephen Hawking, along with his daughter Lucy, published the children’s book George’s Secret Key to the Universe, seeking to explain the structure of the solar system , asteroids, black holes and other celestial bodies.
He was convinced of the existence of aliens
During NASA’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2008, Stephen Hawking was invited to speak, and he took the opportunity to share his thoughts on aliens.
The scientist said that people should be wary of contact with extraterrestrial life, because it is likely that it will be based on DNA, and we will not have protection against their diseases.
The story of his life formed the basis of the film
The love story between Stephen Hawking and his future wife Jane Wilde was retold in the 2014 film The Theory of Everything, which won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne, who played the great scientist.
Stephen Hawking himself, after watching the film, shared that there were moments when he thought he was looking at himself from the outside.
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