Stephen Hawking: Superhero in Life and Science (2022)

Stephen Hawking: Superhero in Life and Science (1)

Stephen William Hawking was a genius who amazed the world from his wheelchair. After Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking is arguably the most globally renowned genius in the scientific community. The life and scientific contributions of English theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking considered revolutionary in his area of study.

It would not be wrong to call Stephen Hawking a superhuman because he is the genius who amazed the whole world by discovering the secrets of the universe, despite being confined to a motorised wheelchair after his whole body was paralyzed for 55 long years. Even though he had lost the ability to move his body and speak, technology that could detect the small twitches of his cheek muscles helped convey the scientific secrets his brilliant mind had uncovered. The life of Hawking, who defeated even his body that was not ready to obey his brain, is still an inspiration to the world today. His mind and thought were dedicated to science and his theories became astonishing revelations to the world.

Man who defied doctors’ predictions

At the age of 21, a young man who had lost muscle strength in his body and whose life expectancy was stated to be two years at the most by his doctors, went on to astonish not only the medical community but also the whole world with his life and contributions till he died at the age of 76. Hawking had been confined to a wheelchair since he was 21 owing to a type of motor neuron disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is a disease that is still incurable in medicine. The fact that Stephen Hawking lived the longest of those affected by that disease is just another milestone in his amazing life.

(Video) Stephen Hawking parody (superhero movie)

Successor to Einstein?

Hawking, who made unparalleled contributions to theoretical physics, explained many of the mysteries of the universe, including black holes.

Albert Einstein had died when Stephen Hawking was 13 years old. Diseases tried to defeat Hawking many times, but they had to kneel down before his eager desire to know more about the universe. Thus the unique genius of Hawking grew with his self-confidence and effort to fill the position vacated by Einstein.

Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. Hawking’s father wanted his son to be a doctor, but Hawking was interested in physics and cosmology.

Hawking graduated in physics from Oxford University and came to Cambridge to do research in cosmology. It was during this time that the motor neuron disease began to affect him, but even as each part of his body slowly began to fail, his mind never failed him and his brain kept on working tirelessly.

Research period

Hawking was adamant that his ailment should never dominate his mind. His study and research helped him eliminate depression and overcome the sympathetic outlook of others.

Hawking received his Ph.D. in 1965 for his research on the characteristics of the expansion of the universe. The dissertation was later published for the public in October 2017 on the Cambridge University website. Within days, the paper was searched by over 2 million people.

(Video) Stephen Hawking SuperHeros Movie

During his research, Hawking befriended Roger Penrose, a mathematician at Birkbeck College in London. Hawking’s essays on the singularities and the geometry of space-time, along with Penrose’s conclusions, won the prestigious Adams Prize in 1966. Hawking deeply studied black holes, which are said to form in the last phase of a star’s life. He also studied space-time singularity, first introduced by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Hawking’s discoveries and theories in the 1970s were topics of discussion, and all of these later led to a major revolution in theoretical physics.

Hawking began to research the Big Bang Theory and black holes. Large giant stars turn into black holes towards the end of their lives. Singularity in Hawking’s theory refers to black holes that shrink infinitely as the surrounding space gets pulled into it, by the extreme force of gravity. Hawking wondered what would happen if this process happened in the reverse direction. He believed that the Big Bang (Big Bang Theory), which led to the origin of the universe, might have evolved and expanded from singularity over time. Penrose was Hawking’s co-researcher in these studies.

Hawking Radiation

In 1973, Hawking published his first academic book, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time. Hawking’s discoveries and theories in the 1970s were topics of discussion, and all of these later led to a major revolution in theoretical physics. He argued that black holes could not shrink, but could only expand. Based on quantum theory and the theory of relativity, Hawking revealed that radiation emanated from black holes. This later became known as Hawking Radiation.

Hawking won the 1978 Albert Einstein Prize. He held the title of the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge from 1979 to 2009, a title that was previously held by geniuses like Isaac Newton.

Aided by machines

The next setback for Hawking, who continued his research despite his physical difficulties, was the onset of pneumonia in 1985. He lost his voice in those days after undergoing surgery to save his life. With that, Hawking had to seek the help of machines to communicate. Scientists at Cambridge developed motorised wheelchairs and other gadgets for him.

(Video) Superhero Movie | Stephen Hawking

A technology called ‘predictive text’ was used to translate the movements of the cheek muscles into letters, using a sensor attached to Hawking’s glasses. A system had been developed that could translate such writing into sound. Thus, despite the immobility of his body and the loss of speech, Hawking went on to make some amazing discoveries.

Stephen Hawking’s 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, is still one of the bestsellers of all time.

Hawking was willing to not only share new knowledge gained through constant thought and research, but also to correct erroneous theories. Many other researchers, based on quantum theory, had challenged his claim that information trapped inside black holes could disappear permanently. Thus, in 2004, Hawking acknowledged that information could escape from within black holes.

He predicted that human habitation on Earth would be impossible after the next 600 years. Before he died, he told the world that humans must find new bases to live, in space.

Hawking’s books

Stephen Hawking’s 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, is still one of the bestsellers of all time. The book simplifies scientific truths and presents them in a way that is understandable to ordinary people and has helped many people become interested in science. It is also in the Guinness Book of World Records for being on the bestseller list for the longest period.

Hawking authored several books, including Black Holes and Baby Universes, The Universe in a Nutshell, and The Grand Design. In 2013, he wrote an autobiography titled My Brief History.

However, the most talked-about book was by Hawking’s first wife Jane Wilde, Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. This was made into a movie in 2014.

(Video) Stephen Hawking: Physicits Predicted 'End Of The Universe' | End Of The Universe

Wilde and Hawking married in 1965. The couple had three children, including author Lucy Hawking. They divorced in 1995 after 30 years of married life.In 1995, Hawking married Elaine Mason, who was his nurse and speech therapist. Jane married again too. Hawking’s second marriage ended up in divorce after 11 years.

Jane and her husband took care of the lonely Hawking, who remained with his children and grandchildren until his death on March 14, 2018.

Last words

After Hawking’s death, a book he had not completed was published by his family and friends. In this book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, Hawking states: “There is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate.”

Hawking, who was not a believer in God, also refutes the age-old claim that God had cursed the disabled to be so. He also said that other ways like nature are better to explain everything. His last words are also relevant as to how the future should be structured. The last chapter of the last book says: “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.”

Now put on your thinking hats and think about the following questions for a couple of minutes.

How would you describe the term “Hawking Radiation” to your students?

What are the most significant contributions of Stephen Hawking in the field of theoretical physics?

(Video) Stephen Hawking's daughter : 'You could ask my dad any question' - BBC News

Write down your thoughts and discuss them with your students, children and your colleagues. Listen to their views and compare them with your own. As you listen to others, note how similar or different your views are to others’.

Thank you for listening. Subscribe to The Scando Review on thescandoreview.com.

Happy Teaching!

FAQs

How is Stephen Hawking a hero? ›

Hawking, known for his wheelchair and electronic voice, overcame a debilitating disease to push the boundaries of science and revolutionize our understanding of the universe.

What are Stephen Hawking's contributions to science? ›

Stephen Hawking's contributions to the understanding of gravity, black holes and cosmology were truly immense. They began with the singularity theorems in the 1960s followed by his discovery that black holes have an entropy and consequently a finite temperature.

Who is Stephen Hawking and what did he discover? ›

Stephen Hawking, in full Stephen William Hawking, (born January 8, 1942, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England—died March 14, 2018, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire), English theoretical physicist whose theory of exploding black holes drew upon both relativity theory and quantum mechanics. He also worked with space-time singularities.

What is Stephen Hawking multiverse theory? ›

One of the topics Hawking tinkered with toward the end of his life was the multiverse theory — the idea that our universe, with its beginning in the Big Bang, is just one of an infinite number of coexisting bubble universes.

How did Stephen Hawking improve the world? ›

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking changed our view of the universe with his remarkable theories and outreach. He also inspired generations around the world, making some of the most complicated physics of our time accessible to the masses.

Why is Stephen Hawking considered the most important scientist? ›

Stephen Hawking's formulation is considered the closest we have to a theory of everything, because his writing on matter escaping black holes–the so-called 'Hawking Radiation'–seems to be the first time a scientist has created a comprehensive hypothesis that relies on both quantum mechanics and classical physics.

What was Stephen Hawking's biggest achievement? ›

His main contribution to science lies in the so-called 'theory of everything', words that give name, by the way, to his biographical film released in 2014. That is, he was the first scientist to attempt to unify Einstein's Theory of General Relativity with the laws of Quantum Physics.

What was Stephen Hawking's greatest discovery? ›

Hawking is best known for his discovery that black holes emit radiation which can be detected by special instrumentation. His discovery has made the detailed study of black holes possible. Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford, England on January 8, 1942. At the age of 17, he enrolled at University College, Oxford.

What is Stephen Hawking IQ level? ›

Similar to Einstein, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking had an estimated IQ of 160, yet it is unknown if he ever took an IQ test, according to enhancingbrain.com. According to Healthline, about 68% of people have an IQ between 85 and 115. The average IQ score in the U.S. is 98, says Healthline.

Who discovered black holes? ›

Roger Penrose (left) proved black holes are real objects. Andrea Ghez (center) and Reinhard Genzel (right) showed that one weighing 4 million times as much as the Sun lurks in the heart of our galaxy. Since Penrose's advances, astronomers have found a wealth of evidence for black holes.

Did Stephen Hawking win a Nobel Prize? ›

Dr. Hawking, arguably one of the most celebrated and honored researchers, never won a Nobel and now never will. His story is a reminder of how the ultimate prestige award is subject to the fickleness of fate.

Does parallel universe exist? ›

There are far more particles in the universe than 1,000, so the chances for another Earth are not in our favour. Unfortunately, we don't know if these parallel universes exist. Or at least, we don't at the moment. Physicists are trying to find ways to test these theories, but it is very difficult.

Does multiverse exist? ›

Even though certain features of the universe seem to require the existence of a multiverse, nothing has been directly observed that suggests it actually exists.

Who started the multiverse theory? ›

The term multiverse was coined by American philosopher William James in 1895 to refer to the confusing moral meaning of natural phenomena and not to other possible universes.

Did Stephen Hawking prove theory of everything? ›

Stephen Hawking was originally a believer in the Theory of Everything, but after considering Gödel's Theorem, he concluded that one was not obtainable. "Some people will be very disappointed if there is not an ultimate theory that can be formulated as a finite number of principles.

What was Stephen Hawking's final message? ›

Stephen Hawking's message reads: “I am very aware of the preciousness of time. Seize the moment. Act now.

What quality does Stephen Hawking inspire? ›

Answer: Stephen Hawking was a person who had worked really very hard inspite of his physical disabilities, this positive perception and perseverance is really very heart warming that inspires all of to be focused, persistent and hardworking and learn to over come our short comings.

What unique qualities does Stephen Hawking stand out from this passage? ›

Here are 8 lessons from his extraordinary life and achievements that can inspire us.
  • He has used technology to overcome his disability. ...
  • He refused to let his disability halt his research. ...
  • He is always curious. ...
  • He has never lost his sense of humor. ...
  • He stands by his principles. ...
  • He never gives up.

Who is the greatest scientist in our time? ›

The 10 Greatest Scientists of All Time
  • Albert Einstein: The Whole Package.
  • Marie Curie: She Went Her Own Way.
  • Isaac Newton: The Man Who Defined Science on a Bet.
  • Charles Darwin: Delivering the Evolutionary Gospel.
  • Nikola Tesla: Wizard of the Industrial Revolution.
  • Galileo Galilei: Discoverer of the Cosmos.
11 Apr 2017

What is Elon Musk IQ? ›

Elon's IQ is estimated to be around 155, while Albert Einstein's is 160. With such a slight margin, Musk is undoubtedly an incredibly smart person. Who is the smartest person on earth in 2022? Born in 1975 in Adelaide, Australia is a mathematician, Terence Tao with an IQ score of 230.

Is 142 a high IQ? ›

115 to 129: Above average or bright. 130 to 144: Moderately gifted. 145 to 159: Highly gifted. 160 to 179: Exceptionally gifted.

Is there a real photo of a black hole? ›

An international team of astronomers led by scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian who produced the first direct image of a black hole three years ago have now produced a portrait of a second, this time a much-anticipated glimpse of one at the heart of the Milky Way.

What is inside a black hole? ›

The singularity at the center of a black hole is the ultimate no man's land: a place where matter is compressed down to an infinitely tiny point, and all conceptions of time and space completely break down. And it doesn't really exist. Something has to replace the singularity, but we're not exactly sure what.

How many universes are there? ›

In a new study, Stanford physicists Andrei Linde and Vitaly Vanchurin have calculated the number of all possible universes, coming up with an answer of 10^10^16.

Who has won 3 Nobel Prizes? ›

Since the International Committee of the Red Cross has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize three times (in 1917, 1944 and 1963), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize two times (in 1954 and 1981), there are 25 individual organizations which have been ...

Who is the most famous Nobel Prize winner? ›

Martin Luther King, Jr.

King is one of the most well-known Nobel prize winners. His work for civil rights in the United States started a movement that still inspires others today. He received this award four years before his tragic assassination in 1968. (Try these Martin Luther King, Jr.

Who got first Nobel Prize from India? ›

Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian citizen to be awarded and also first Asian to be awarded in 1913.

What was Stephen Hawking's IQ? ›

Similar to Einstein, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking had an estimated IQ of 160, yet it is unknown if he ever took an IQ test, according to enhancingbrain.com. According to Healthline, about 68% of people have an IQ between 85 and 115. The average IQ score in the U.S. is 98, says Healthline.

Did Stephen Hawking win a Nobel Prize? ›

Dr. Hawking, arguably one of the most celebrated and honored researchers, never won a Nobel and now never will. His story is a reminder of how the ultimate prestige award is subject to the fickleness of fate.

What is the contribution of Albert Einstein in science? ›

Einstein is best known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. Relativity and quantum mechanics are together the two pillars of modern physics.

What was Stephen Hawking's last words? ›

Stephen Hawking's final words came in the form of a book that was completed by his family after his death, Brief Answers To The Big Questions. It includes answers to the questions that Hawking received most during his time on Earth. His final words in the book were: "There is no God. No one directs the universe."

What is Elon Musk IQ? ›

Elon's IQ is estimated to be around 155, while Albert Einstein's is 160. With such a slight margin, Musk is undoubtedly an incredibly smart person. Who is the smartest person on earth in 2022? Born in 1975 in Adelaide, Australia is a mathematician, Terence Tao with an IQ score of 230.

Who has highest IQ in world? ›

Marilyan vos Savant

Vos Savant has one of the world's highest IQs (228), and she is known as the smartest person in the comment. Her name is recorded in the Guinness World Record for smarts.

Is 142 a high IQ? ›

115 to 129: Above average or bright. 130 to 144: Moderately gifted. 145 to 159: Highly gifted. 160 to 179: Exceptionally gifted.

Who has won 3 Nobel Prizes? ›

Since the International Committee of the Red Cross has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize three times (in 1917, 1944 and 1963), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize two times (in 1954 and 1981), there are 25 individual organizations which have been ...

Who is the most famous Nobel Prize winner? ›

Martin Luther King, Jr.

King is one of the most well-known Nobel prize winners. His work for civil rights in the United States started a movement that still inspires others today. He received this award four years before his tragic assassination in 1968. (Try these Martin Luther King, Jr.

Did Stephen Hawking prove theory of everything? ›

Stephen Hawking was originally a believer in the Theory of Everything, but after considering Gödel's Theorem, he concluded that one was not obtainable. "Some people will be very disappointed if there is not an ultimate theory that can be formulated as a finite number of principles.

What is quantum theory of light? ›

Quantum Theory: The quantum theory of light was proposed by Einstein, It states that light travels in bundles of energy, and each bundle is known as a photon. Each photon carries a quantity of energy equal to the product of the frequency of vibration of that photon and Planck's constant.

Is there God Stephen Hawking? ›

Hawking concludes with his most direct, personal answer to the universal question: It's my view that the simplest explanation is that there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realisation: there is probably no heaven and afterlife either.

Can Stephen Hawking talk? ›

How did Stephen Hawking talk? Hawking previously used his finger to control a computer and voice synthesizer. But once he lost use of his hands, he started depending on twitching a cheek muscle to communicate. Most computers designed for him relied on running lists of words.

Videos

1. Peter Diamandis: Stephen Hawking hits zero g
(TED)
2. The Theory of Everything - Official Trailer (Universal Pictures) HD
(Universal Pictures UK)
3. Stephen Hawking Interview: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
(LastWeekTonight)
4. Stephen Hawking's FINAL WARNING + 7 Future Predictions
(Top 10s)
5. Stephen Hawking discusses Baby Universes, UC Berkeley 1988
(UC Berkeley)
6. Hawking's black hole paradox explained - Fabio Pacucci
(TED-Ed)

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