Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England to Frank and Isobel Hawking. He grew up in St Albans, London where he attended St Albans School and then University College of Oxford where he studied physics and mathematics. Before his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), he began to notice symptoms of the disease during his graduate work at Cambridge University. In 1962, he began to notice that he had trouble using his hands as well as slurred speech while lecturing. He continued to work as a professor at Cambridge University before becoming wheelchair-bound in 1985. 10 Interesting Facts about Stephen Hawking
Table of Contents
1) Becoming paralyzed
Hawking was first diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when he was 21 years old. The degenerative disorder, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to deteriorate. ALS is generally diagnosed between ages 40 and 70, although only 5 percent of patients live beyond age 50. Hawking has said that a combination of his physical condition and smoking two packs of cigarettes a day probably contributed to his contracting ALS at such a young age. 10 Interesting Facts about Stephen Hawking
|Born||8 January 1942|
|Died||14 March 2018 (aged 76)|
|Resting place||Westminster Abbey|
|Education||University College, Oxford (BA)|
Trinity Hall, Cambridge (PhD)
(m. 1965; div. 1995)
(m. 1995; div. 2007)
|Children||3, including Lucy|
|Fields||General relativityquantum gravity|
|Institutions||Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge|
California Institute of Technology
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
|Thesis||Properties of Expanding Universes (1966)|
|Doctoral advisor||Dennis W. Sciama|
|Other academic advisors||Robert Berman|
|Popular books||A Brief History of Time (1988) Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays (1993) The Universe in a Nutshell (2001) On the Shoulders of Giants (2002) God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History (2005) The Dreams That Stuff Is Made of: The Most Astounding Papers of Quantum Physics and How They Shook the Scientific World (2011)My Brief History (2013) Brief Answers to the Big Questions (2018)|
|Co-authored||The Nature of Space and Time (with Roger Penrose) (1996) The Large, the Small and the Human Mind (with Roger Penrose, Abner Shimony and Nancy Cartwright) (1997) The Future of Spacetime (with Kip Thorne, Igor Novikov, Timothy Ferris and introduction by Alan Lightman, Richard H. Price) (2002) A Briefer History of Time (with Leonard Mlodinow) (2005) The Grand Design (with Leonard Mlodinow) (2010)|
|Forewords||Black Holes & Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy (Kip Thorne, and introduction by Frederick Seitz) (1994) The Physics of Star Trek (Lawrence Krauss) (1995)|
|Children’s fiction||George’s Secret Key to the Universe (2007) George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt (2009) George and the Big Bang (2011) George and the Unbreakable Code (2014) George and the Blue Moon (2016)|
2) Travelling as a student to study at Cambridge
Hawking was far from where he wanted to be at Cambridge. Due to his condition, he wasn’t able to live on campus and had to rely on his family for support. My first impression of Cambridge was that it was very attractive, with its picture-postcard surroundings, he once said. But I felt isolated by my not being able to communicate with those around me.
3) Moving from theoretical physics to cosmology
One of Hawking’s biggest achievements is his contribution to our understanding of how stars turn into black holes. While physicists have long known that stars can turn into black holes, it wasn’t until 1970 that they discovered a way to mathematically prove it, thanks to a mathematical equation created by Hawking.
4) Marrying twice and fathering three children
Because of his motor neuron disease, Hawking was paralyzed and could only communicate by twitching a cheek muscle. In 1985, he married his nurse, Elaine Mason (now divorced). They had three children together. Today he is still married to his second wife, Jane Wild (née Mott), whom he met while they were both undergraduates at Oxford University. The couple has three children — Lucy, Robert and Tim — together as well. 10 Interesting Facts about Stephen Hawking
5) Writing A Brief History of Time
A Brief History of Time was one of three books on theoretical physics to sell over 10 million copies. This is an impressive accomplishment for any scientist, let alone someone in their first book’s theoretical physics debut. The book has sold over 25 million copies since its original publication date.
6) Working on the world’s most advanced scientific research project, The Large Hadron Collider
Particle physics is an interdisciplinary branch of science that studies subatomic particles, and attempts to find out how they work. This field encompasses two types of research: experimental particle physics , which involves building and using particle accelerators , and theoretical particle physics , which consists of mathematical analysis and computer simulations. Here are 10 amazing facts that shed light on how cool theoretical particle physics is.
7) Receiving an honorary degree at Harvard University
Before being diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is a terminal illness that leaves people paralyzed and unable to speak, he was a PhD student at Cambridge University. In 1965, he received his PhD in theoretical physics from Cambridge. He then continued on to study cosmology at Caltech in Pasadena under Robert Oppenheimer before returning to Cambridge as a research fellow and later as a professor of mathematics.
8) Starring in his own BBC TV series, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking
Take a tour of space with theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. Join him as he tries to make sense of concepts like parallel universes, time travel, black holes and gravity. Next up: 10 things you didn’t know about one of science’s most famous minds.
9) Meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace
In 2009, when Hawking was awarded his CBE by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, he famously fell at one point in front of Her Majesty and her husband. I felt very bad about it, he says. The Queen reportedly said, Don’t worry, it can happen to anyone. 10 Interesting Facts about Stephen Hawking
10) Appearing on The Simpsons
In 2010, Stephen Hawking made a cameo on The Simpsons. The physicist provided his voice for an episode called They Saved Lisa’s Brain. In it, he discusses life with Homer Simpson and even helps him come up with a theory to solve his daughter’s difficult math problem.
Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England to Frank and Isobel Hawking. He grew up in St Albans, London where he attended St Albans School and then University College of Oxford where he studied physics and mathematics. Before his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), he began to notice symptoms of the disease during his graduate work at Cambridge University. In 1962, he began to notice that he had trouble using his hands as well as slurred speech while lecturing. He continued to work as a professor at Cambridge University before becoming wheelchair-bound in 1985.