Today is Pi Day and we also lost a very brilliant mind: Stephen Hawking. To me it is sad yet very fitting that Hawking passed away on this day. He was a scientist and also author of A Brief History of Time. It sold more than 10 million copies, although its author was aware that it was dubbed “the most popular book never read”. He also battled ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for over 50 years, which is an accomplishment in of itself.
Here is his obituary courtesy of the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-15555565
His official website is here
I have not personally read A Brief History of Time, but felt that I needed to share about it and him today.
Rest In Peace Mr. Hawking. 1/08/1942-3/14/2018
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
First published in 1987; republished in 1998
A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?
Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.
Hawking’s Goodreads Bio:
Stephen then went on to Cambridge to do research in Cosmology, there being no-one working in that area in Oxford at the time. His supervisor was Denis Sciama, although he had hoped to get Fred Hoyle who was working in Cambridge. After gaining his Ph.D. he became first a Research Fellow, and later on a Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. After leaving the Institute of Astronomy in 1973 Stephen came to the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, and since 1979 has held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. The chair was founded in 1663 with money left in the will of the Reverend Henry Lucas, who had been the Member of Parliament for the University. It was first held by Isaac Barrow, and then in 1669 by Isaac Newton.
Stephen Hawking worked on the basic laws which govern the universe. With Roger Penrose he showed that Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity implied space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes. These results indicated it was necessary to unify General Relativity with Quantum Theory, the other great Scientific development of the first half of the 20th Century. One consequence of such a unification that he discovered was that black holes should not be completely black, but should emit radiation and eventually evaporate and disappear. Another conjecture is that the universe has no edge or boundary in imaginary time. This would imply that the way the universe began was completely determined by the laws of science.
His many publications include The Large Scale Structure of Spacetime with G.F.R. Ellis, General Relativity: An Einstein Centenary Survey, with W. Israel, and 300 Years of Gravity, with W. Israel. Stephen Hawking has three popular books published; his best seller A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays and most recently in 2001, The Universe in a Nutshell.
Professor Hawking received twelve honorary degrees, was awarded the CBE in 1982, and was made a Companion of Honour in 1989. He was the recipient of many awards, medals and prizes and is a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.