FP TrendingMar 12, 2022 07:39:32 IST
British physicist Stephen Hawking passed away on this day, 14 March, in the year 2018. His death at the age of 76 left his admirers, as well as people in the scientific community, in deep shock.
Hawking, who battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for over five decades, was told he had less than three years to live when he was first diagnosed. However, he did not let the disease stop him from becoming an icon in the scientific community.
The physicist connected quantum mechanics (which focuses on how electrons and positrons work) with the theory of relativity, according to The Verge. This remains one of his biggest achievements.
Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time, was an international bestseller and remains influential since it was first published in the 1980s. The book was much-loved among readers for simplifying complex theories related to the origin of the universe, black holes and other topics.
Apart from immense contributions to physics, Hawking was also a pop culture icon and made appearances in several shows including The Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons.
Stephen Hawking’s contribution to the scientific community, will always remain valuable. On his death anniversary, here are some of his ground-breaking theories:
- In the 1960s, Hawking, along with Roger Penrose, applied Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity to the origin of the cosmos. The theory implied that space and time began with the Big Bang, and would end with black holes.
- According to Hawking, if the universe began from a singularity or a just one infinitely small point, questions about what was before the Big Bang, were useless.
- He also gave more solid mathematical backing to the idea of black holes, which had first been theorised by Albert Einstein in 1916.
- Hawking also demonstrated that black holes actually emit radiation. The phenomenon was later named the Hawking radiation in his honour. The physicist also discovered that black holes can explode and die. His ideas also led to the discovery that black holes were not actually black , but “white-hot”.
- Hawking theorised that the event horizons of black holes, “the boundary beyond which nothing can ever escape”, could never shrink. This was later known Hawking’s area theorem. In 2021, physicists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology confirmed the theory.
- Hawking also postulated that when a star dies, its mass collapses into a singularity, which then leads to the formation of a black hole.
His work has made black holes more understandable to both the scientific community and the general public.
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