Stephen Hawking passes away at the age of 76

'The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.' RIP Stephen Hawking.

  • Updated: March 14, 2018 11:45 AM IST

British physicist Stephen Hawking breathed his last at the age of 76 at his home in Cambridge this morning. A spokesman for his family confirmed the demise of Hawking. His children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement that he had died at his home.

A Sky News report quotes them saying, “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 humor 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 forever.”

As the news broke, people on social media are pouring their hearts out for the scientist who contributed to the field of physical theory including gravitation, cosmology, quantum theory, thermodynamics, and information theory.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also offered his condolence on Hawking’s demise.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressed grief on the loss of a “beautiful mind and a brilliant scientist”.

Hawking contracted a rare motor neuron disease in 1963 and was given two years to live. Despite his disability where he was bound to a chair and talked through a computer, he not only survived well beyond the time he was given, but also went on to study at Cambridge and became one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein. He has been awarded over a dozen honorary degrees and the CBE in 1982. He was best-known for his theory that black holes emit radiations which can be detected by special instrumentation.

The legendary scientist was also the subject of the 2014 film The Theory Of Everything, which starred Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. He had also appeared in cameos in the comedy series The Big Bang Theory.

In the present era where so much importance is given to artificial intelligence, Hawking cautioned against the use of AI. Last year, he said, AI could end mankind, saying the full development of the technology could spell the end of the human race.

  • Published Date: March 14, 2018 10:17 AM IST
  • Updated Date: March 14, 2018 11:45 AM IST