Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous living scientists. His computer-simulated voice is familiar on many television science programmes.
Stephen Hawking (b.1942) is a British physicist who is famous for his ideas on space and time.
Hawking was born in Oxford, England and studied at Cambridge University, where he is now a professor.
Hawking suffers from the paralyzing nerve disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He cannot move any more than a few hand and face muscles, but he gets around very well in an electric wheelchair.
Hawking cannot speak, but he communicates effectively with a computer-simulated voice.
Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time (1988) outlines his ideas on space, time and the history of the Universe since the Big Bang. It was one of the best-selling science books of the 20th century.
Einstein thought of and Hawking developed the idea of black holes. They are collapsed objects, such as stars, that have become invisible.
Hawking’s contributions to the study of gravity are considered to be the most important since Einstein’s.
More than anyone else, Hawking has developed the idea of black holes — points in space where gravity becomes so extreme that it even sucks in light.
Hawking developed the idea of a singularity, which is an incredibly small point in a black hole where all physical laws break down.
Hawking’s work provides a strong theoretical base for the idea that the Universe began with a Big Bang, starting with a singularity and exploding outwards.
Hawking is trying to find a quantum theory of gravity to link in with the three other basic forces (electromagnetism and nuclear forces). The Big Bang theory assumes the Universe started with a singularity, a point of infinite mass.