Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.
His scientific works include a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Hawking was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009 and achieved commercial success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.
At the release party for the home video version of the A Brief History of Time, Leonard Nimoy, who had played Spock on Star Trek, learned that Hawking was interested in appearing on the show. Nimoy made the necessary contact, and Hawking played a holographic simulation of himself in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1993. The same year, his synthesiser voice was recorded for the Pink Floyd song “Keep Talking”, and in 1999 for an appearance on The Simpsons. Hawking also guest-starred in Futurama and The Big Bang Theory.
Hawking allowed the use of his copyrighted voice in the biographical 2014 film The Theory of Everything, in which he was portrayed by Eddie Redmayne in an Academy Award-winning role.
Hawking died at the age of 76 in his home in Cambridge, England, early in the morning of 14 March 2018.
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