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Steven Hawking


Steven William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford,
England. He was always interested in science and how things worked.
From about the age of 20, he was awarded a first class honors degree in
Natural Sciences. After receiving his degree, Steven went to
Cambridge, to do research on Cosmology. After receiving his Ph.D., he
left the Institute of Astronomy and since then he has held the post of
Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. In the late 1960's, Steven proved
that if general relativity is true and the Universe is expanding, a
irregularity must have occurred at the birth of the Universe. In 1974,
he first recognized a truly remarkable property of black holes, objects
from which nothing was supposed to be able to escape. By taking into
account quantum mechanics, he was able to show that black holes can
radiate energy as particles are created in their vicinity. Dr. Hawking
has also worked on the basic laws that govern the universe. With
Rodger Penrose, he showed that Einstein's General Theory of Relativity
implied space and time would have had a beginning in the "Big Bang",
and an end in black holes. These results indicated it was necessary to
unify General Relativity with Quantum Theory, the other great
scientific development of the first half of the 20th century. One
consequence of such a unification that he discovered was that black
holes should not be completely black, but it should emit radiation and
eventually evaporate and disappear. Another speculation is that the
universe has no edge or boundary in imaginary time. This would imply
that the way the universe began was completely determined by the laws
of science. While studying at Oxford, Steven noticed that he was
becoming rather clumsy during his first year. When he returned home
one Christmas 1962, his mother persuaded him to go to the doctor. In
1963, he was diagnosed with ALS (Ameliotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or
best known as the lou Gehrig's disease).This disease is progressive and
slowly affects the nerves supplying all the muscles in the body.

Dr. Hawking has several books, but his most prestigious feat may be "a
Brief History of Time", which was published in 1988. When asked
recently about his disability and other questions surrounding it he
replied: "People are fascinated by the contrast between my very
limited physical powers, and the vast nature of the universe I deal
with. I'm the archetype of a disabled genius, or should I say a
physically challenged genius, to be politically correct. At least I'm
obviously physically challenged. Whether I'm a genius is more open to
doubt. I don't pay much attention to how journalists describe me. I
know it is media hype. They need an Einstein like figure to appeal
to. But for them to compare me to Einstein is ridiculous. They don't
understand either Einstein's work, or mine. Have never heard anyone
say isn't it a shame that such a brilliant mind is trapped inside a
useless body. If I did, I would treat it with the contempt it
deserved. I generally find that even people that haven't heard of me
treat me well and are helpful. I'm not sensitive, if occasionally they
patronize me, I just feel it's their mistake. Being disabled, or
physically challenged, makes no difference ! to how my scientific
colleagues treat me apart from practical matters like waiting while I
write what I want to say." He currently holds the prestigious chair as
the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, which
was once held by Isaac Newton. Dr. Hawking is currently working on a
new theory called Open Inflation. This theory postulates that the
Universe will expand forever to infinity, explains how matter was
created, and resolves Einstein's equations of gravity.


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