News Stephen Hawking has Died - March 14th, 2018

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Born on Galileo’s death and died on Einstein’s birth. Probably a coincidence... either way, I, like so many others, count him as a childhood hero. Man, you know this sort of thing is coming, being a lot younger, but you still aren’t prepared. He was a pillar in my life. What a wonderful man and a shinning example of how life should be lived.
 

StatGuy2000

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A remarkable scientist. RIP Prof. Hawking.
 

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Choppy

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He was certainly one of my greatest inspirations. RIP Professor Hawking.
 
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While it is a wonder as well as to our species distinct advantage that Professor Hawking managed to live and be so profoundly productive for so long, and though his death always seemed more imminent than most for that reason, I am stricken by this sad news. I will be sad this entire day and some forward but tonight I will raise a glass at dinner and speak of his life and contributions. I can't help but wonder, especially after being reminded by some of the videos of conferences in this thread, now that both Carl and Stephen are gone, who will take their place? Are we still raising any Einsteins these days?

Incidentally thank you for the ancient recording of Carl, Stephen and Arthur. It is an amazing reminder how far we have recently come just marked by guessing the Universe's age as between 10 and 15 billion years, Hubble not having been launched yet, and that crusty old PC . Was it running GEM?
 

Haelfix

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The world of theoretical physics has been hit hard this past month. With the death of Joseph Polchinski and Stephen Hawkings, we all lose a little something the likes of which will never be seen again.

In Stephen's case, it's all the more unique, given his inability to work with pen and paper yet to remain a top physicist for so many years.

I met him for the first time in the late 90s at a cosmology conference, and the thing that most people don't quite realize is just how crippled he really was. Between the nurses and the entourage he had around him, i'm not sure he ever was completely alone. His position on the chair would need to be carefully supervised, so that he wouldn't get skin burns, and there were all sorts of painful little mundane facts of his disease day in and day out that were readily apparent to any casual onlooker. After his talk was over (he had just announced the no boundary proposal) and the Q/A session would start, he would sit there on his chair struggling to explain the depths of his mind, and was only able to output maybe a sentence or two every 5-10 minutes. I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been.

It also illustrates just how much work and time must have gone into even the simplest tasks. Preparing a talk or a speech must have been a month long process. Writing a paper or explaining a concept to a colleague must have required a titanic amount of focus and perserverance.

He was an impressive man. Not just for the great mind, but for the great will it must have taken to accomplish even a tenth of what he was able to do. That's what I will remember about him.
 
I am grateful for his amazing contributions and advancements in the fields.
 
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Goodbye Stephen.
 

CWatters

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I had the pleasure of reading A Brief History of Time while crossing the Atlantic on the QE2. I can't claim to have understood it all but was pleased I got as far as I did. He had a great ability to make complex theories understandable by mere laymen like me.

I never got to meet him but we did bump into each other quite literally in a music shop in Cambridge once.

RIP.
 
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He was a huge inspiration for me. Even when I was younger, his constant presence in everything from The Simpsons to Pink Floyd albums I think greatly increased the number of children interested in physics who are the next generation of scientists today.

Anyways, he's his cameo from the last Pink Floyd album
 

berkeman

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I like Hawking's sense of humor, especially in this cameo appearance in Star Trek. I laughed so hard the first time I saw it -- "Wrong again, Albert!" LOL

 
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I think we should also remember how amazing it was that we got to keep him for so long given his illness manifesting itself so early. He was diagnosed in the early 60s, meaning that he lived with ALS for the larger part of his life.

Edit: I also came to think that even if his direct contributions to science are important and numerous. His biggest contribution is probably that of a science educator and inspirer. Imagine how much science is currently being done by people who, like me, were inspired to enter academia after reading his books. I am surely not the only one.
What would you say his greatest contribution to physics was? The singularity theorems? Hawking radiation?
 

Lisa!

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RIP Prof. Hawking.
 

Evo

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One of our members had an office across the hall from him a couple of years ago and could hear him. An amazing man, he's contributed so much. R.I.P.
 

Orodruin

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What would you say his greatest contribution to physics was? The singularity theorems? Hawking radiation?
I am not a specialist in his field, but I would go with Hawking radiation. It is a physical effect that is a priori observable (even if too weak to be so for us at the moment). It is the kind of prediction that wins Nobel prizes if confirmed (of course it will not be confirmed any time soon, but just to give a flavour). For me, the singularity theorems, while important for the understanding of GR is not at the same level.
 

ohwilleke

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An obit reviewing his accomplishments by a physicist in the field.

http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2018/03/stephen-hawking-dies-at-76-what-was-he.html

Only a few years later, in 1974, Hawking published a seminal paper in which he demonstrates that black holes give off thermal radiation, now referred to as “Hawking radiation.” This evaporation of black holes results in the black hole information loss paradox which is still unsolved today. Hawking’s work demonstrated clearly that the combination of General Relativity with the quantum field theories of the standard model spells trouble. Like the singularity theorems, it’s a result that doesn’t merely indicate, but prove that we need a theory of quantum gravity in order to consistently describe nature.
Half of science is asking the right questions, even if you can't solve them all in your own lifetime.
 
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R.I.P Professor Steven Hawkings.
You were and always will be a sensational role model to me in the immense areas of physics and mathematics. The universalism of physics won't be the same without you in presence amongst us. You truly are science's shining star.
The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.
 
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gabcsika

I had a bad feeling few months ago when I did not finish to read his PhD thesis. I said 'Oh, I will finish it soon, he is a (forever) living legend, I have time'. That was a blame. This is now sadly actual to finish it reading. I did not want finish his famous thesis to read this way. Really not.
He was a lighthouse in theoretical physics, and will be missing to everyone who wanted to see (a little bit) deeper into the Universe...
 
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Life before Death.
Strength before Weakness.
Journey before Destination.
RIP Professor.
 

QuantumQuest

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RIP Professor Hawking. A great thanks is the least I can say for your amazing contributions to Physics.
 

dRic2

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When I was 10/11 I used to read his book "A brief history of time". I couldn't understand anything, but I was so exicted about it for no reasons. Just to be able to read it was enough. I remember when I thought I had a glimps of something I used to run to my granpa (the scientist of the family) and try to explain it. Then he asked me a question I didn't know how to answer so I went back straight to the book. Growing up my interest in scienze fade away (I don't know why) and I started to enjoy leterature. Two years ago my passion for science came back and recently I was planning to read some of his books. It took a while to the news to "hit" me, but now I am very very sad.

RIP Professor Hawking.
 

ohwilleke

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I had a bad feeling few months ago when I did not finish to read his PhD thesis. I said 'Oh, I will finish it soon, he is a (forever) living legend, I have time'. That was a blame. This is now sadly actual to finish it reading. I did not want finish his famous thesis to read this way. Really not.
He was a lighthouse in theoretical physics, and will be missing to everyone who wanted to see (a little bit) deeper into the Universe...
The great thing about scholars is that their legacy persists long after they are gone. He will be alive to you for as long as you keep reading his PhD thesis and other writings, just as Einstein and Dirac and so many others live on today in their intellectual legacies and have work which can be read in the original today long after they are gone.
 
I wanted to meet him once it was my wish from VII th standard and my dream shattered :cry::H:cry: RIP
 
We lost Some thing Very Important yesterday. The greatest mind of our era. :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:
 

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