Truly great minds are born once in a century, and Stephen Hawking can be called the most outstanding scientist of our time. The life of this man was hard, but no hardships and troubles could not break his will to live and powerful intellect. Hawking’s fascinating biography is a vivid example of the fact that a person, if he wants, can do anything. Paralyzed, confined to a wheelchair, he did almost more for humanity than anyone else.
Facts from the life of Stephen Hawking
In elementary school, the future scientist studied very poorly, he constantly lagged behind in academic performance. However, by the final exams, he became the best student.
Perhaps his classmates guessed about his future because they nicknamed Stephen “Einstein”
Hawking’s father wanted his son to become a biologist. He, however, disliked biology throughout his life. He wanted to become a mathematician, but since there was no mathematics department at the chosen university, he decided to study physics.
He visited Moscow twice, in 1973 and in 1981.
Hawking was born exactly 300 years after the death of another great scientist, Galileo Galilei. And on the same day – January 8 (see interesting facts about Galilee ).
In his youth, the future scientist was engaged in sports rowing.
He was a professor of mathematics, however, he had never studied this science since he graduated from high school.
Stephen Hawking was a staunch atheist.
The scientist lost the ability to speak in 1985, after a throat operation. Friends put together a speech synthesizer for him. By that time, the only partially movable part of Hawking’s body was the index finger on his right hand. Later, some mobility was preserved only in the muscle of one cheek.
He called the US military intervention in Iraq a war crime.
It was thanks to Hawking that scientists managed to learn a huge amount of new information about black holes .
The first signs of the disease, which later paralyzed him, began to appear in Stephen Hawking at the age of twenty.
Doctors claimed that with such a diagnosis, he would live, at best, for several years, two or three. However, the scientist lived for more than 76 years.
During his life he was married twice, but both marriages ended in divorce. He had three children.
Stephen Hawking’s home was equipped with a “smart home” system. He controlled his functions using a sensor attached to the arm of his glasses and connected to a computer interface on his chair.
In 2007, the scientist flew in zero gravity on a special plane. Two years later, he was supposed to fly into space, but in the end the flight was canceled.
At one time he held the honorary position of Lucas Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Before him, only one person occupied it – Sir Isaac Newton.
Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time stayed on the publisher’s bestseller lists for 4.5 years, an absolute record.
The scientist has repeatedly starred in commercials and appeared in small cameos in TV shows and films.
He argued all his life that the development of astronautics is crucial for the survival of mankind as a biological species.
Stephen Hawking never received the Nobel Prize. He himself stated that he did not expect it, since the prize is awarded for a specific discovery, and not for a total lifetime contribution to science.
He believed in the existence of alien life, while arguing that a hypothetical meeting with representatives of extraterrestrial civilizations does not bode well for humanity.
Stephen Hawking argued that the universe has no boundaries.
In 2007, he wrote and published a children’s book, George’s Secret Key to the Universe.
The second wife of the scientist was a nurse who looked after him for many years.
One of the threats to life on Earth, Hawking considered the development of artificial intelligence.