Here are some facts about Stephen Hawking.
- Stephen Hawking is an English cosmologist and physicist, and has been the cosmology research director at Cambridge University. He is known for his theories on black holes, relativity and quantum mechanics.
- Hawking was born in Oxford in 1942 and at an early age had the nickname of Einstein. At school, Hawking and some friends built a computer from a telephone switchboard and a clock.
- He studied chemistry and physics at Oxford University.
- He was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease at the age of 21. At one point doctors gave him just 2 years to live.
- Stephen Hawking came up with the idea of the universe having no boundaries. Hawking explained that the universe may collapse, although not for 20 billion years.
- Stephen Hawking and his daughter have written several children’s books. The stories try to explain atoms, stars and planets, and black holes in a way that children will understand.
- Hawking’s condition worsened to the point where he could not speak, and could not operate his own wheelchair. He has written a book and several research papers using a speech generating device.
- Stephen Hawking has won many awards, including the Albert Einstein award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the US. In 1975 the Pope gave him a medal for contributions to science.
- He has made several television shows and also appeared in episodes of Star Trek and The Simpsons. There are several buildings named after him and he is in the list of 100 greatest Britons.
- Hawking believes in life on other planets and has theorized that black holes give off radiation. In 2007, he took a zero gravity flight, allowing him to float out of his wheelchair.
- His book A Brief History of Time sold over 10 million copies and was on the UK bestseller list for over 5 years. It explains the Big Bang, time travel and black holes.
What next? Discover facts about other famous mathematicians.