Stephen William Hawking, born January 8th, 1942, was an English physicist and researcher who forever changed the future of science with his groundbreaking work in theoretical physics and cosmology. He was considered one of the greatest scientists of British history and was a member of the Royal Society. Throughout his life, Hawking was awarded many honors, including the highest civilian honor granted in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Hawking suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a slow developing motor neuron disease resulting in his paralysis. Hawking was diagnosed at twenty-two years old, and at the time, doctors told him he would have only a few years to live. Despite this, Hawking passed away at seventy-six years old on March 14th, 2018.
Groundbreaking Work On Singularities
Together with mathematician and physicist Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking did groundbreaking work on singularities. A singularity is a single point in space that contains an infinite amount of matter and thus has an infinitely high gravitational pull. This phenomenon results in alterations in the laws of space and time because the high gravitational field can curve what’s known as the fabric of the space-time continuum. Hawking was able to prove the existence of singularities and proposed a theory indicating the universe started out as a singularity. The Penrose–Hawking singularity theorem is named after him and is still used by physicists and cosmologists today in studies on the singularity phenomenon.