“There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” – Stephen Hawking
The brightest star in the universe of science, Stephen Hawking has died on March 14, 2018, at the age of 76.
On Wednesday early morning, Hawking’s family released a statement confirming his death at his home in Cambridge.
Apart from a scientist, Stephen was an astronomer, cosmologist, mathematician and author of numerous books including the milestone “A Brief History of Time”, which has sold more than 10 million copies. His insights have been the greatest contributor that shaped modern cosmology and inspires global masses of millions.
His children, Lucy, Robert and Tim in a statement said, “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said: ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him for ever.”
For Hawking’s fellow scientists and loved ones, it was his intuition and wicked sense of humour that marked him out as much as the fierce intellect. His personality which coupled with his illness, came to represent the boundless possibilities of the human mind.
Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote on twitter, “His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure. Stephen Hawking, RIP 1942-2018.”
Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, posted, “A star just went out in the cosmos. We have lost an amazing human being.”
Stephen Hawking suffered from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The disease is usually deadly within a few years.
Hawking was diagnosed when he was 21, in 1963. The doctors initially only gave him a few years to live. The disease left him paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. Due to this, he was only able to move only a few fingers on one hand.
Since then, he was completely dependent on other people or on technology for virtually everything — bathing, dressing, eating, even speech. In order to express, Hawking used a speech synthesizer that allowed him to speak in an American accent with a computerized voice.
Once he wrote on his website, “I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not that many. I have been lucky that my condition has progressed more slowly than is often the case. But it shows that one need not lose hope.”
The sudden demise of the renowned scientist took over the social media.
The official Twitter page of NASA tweeted, “Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014.”
Warren Leight posted, “Stephen Hawking was born January 8, 1942, on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death. He died today, March 14th, on the anniversary of Einstein’s birth. Time is circular – no beginning, no end.”
BBC Radio 4 also wrote, “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Scientist, author and constant source of inspiration Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.”
Stephen Hawking once said, “I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.” The legend will indeed be missed.