Scientist Stephen Hawking dead at age 76

Stephen Hawking Dead: Scientist Dies at Age 76

Hawking first realized that something was wrong when he went ice skating with his mother one day, he recalled in a speech on his 75th birthday celebration past year.

The mysteries of space and science have riddled scientists for generations.

In 1963 he was diagnosed with ALS, a form of Motor Neurone Disease, and later confined to a wheelchair and forced to communicate via a computerised voice.

The disease left Hawking nearly completely paralysed, reliant on a motorised wheelchair for transport and a distinctive synthesised voice in order to speak. But he continued his theoretical work and was outspoken on many things over much of his life.

"Stephen Hawking, RIP 1942-2018".

"My goal is simple", he once said. "It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all".

Such a theory would resolve the contradictions between Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which describes the laws of gravity that govern the motion of large objects like planets, and the Theory of Quantum Mechanics, which deals with the world of subatomic particles.

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Prime Minister Modi also took to the micro-blogging site and wrote, " Professor Stephen Hawking was an outstanding scientist and academic. A previous holder of the prestigious post was the 17th-century British scientist Isaac Newton. He said he did it to encourage interest in space travel. His disease progressed slower than expected and he used the time to continue his research.

More recently, he said artificial intelligence (AI) could contribute to the eradication of disease and poverty, while warning of its potential dangers. Hawking's most recent high-profile trip to Seattle came in 2012.

Hawking's other major scientific contribution was to cosmology, the study of the universe's origin and evolution. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also part of the board. The phenomenon is now commonly known as Hawking radiation.

A Brief History of Time - published in 1988 - made him a household name, explaining complex scientific theories to the masses. It was followed in 2001 by "The Universe in a Nutshell". Disproving the belief that black holes are so dense that nothing could escape their gravitational pull, he showed that black holes leak a tiny bit of light and other types of radiation, now known as "Hawking radiation".

While in their own statement, USA space agency NASA described Prof Hawking as an "ambassador of science". "You inspired and taught us all".

Hawking leaves behind three children and three grandchildren, according to his website. He often paid tribute to his wife, who had looked after him for more than 20 years, and friends and relatives were shocked when he left her for one of his nurses, whom he married in 1995. The world famous physicist and cosmologist was the subject of the 2014 film "The Theory Of Everything", which starred Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

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