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Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

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(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

FILE - In this March 6, 2017 file photo, Britain's Professor Stephen Hawking delivers a keynote speech as he receives the Honorary Freedom of the City of London during a ceremony at the Guildhall in the City of London. Hawking, whose brilliant mind ranged across time and space though his body was paralyzed by disease, has died, a family spokesman said early Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

 

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Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

Stephen Hawking, best-known physicist of his time, has died

LONDON (AP) — Stephen Hawking, whose brilliant mind ranged across time and space though his body was paralyzed by disease, has died. He was 76.

Hawking died at his home in Cambridge, England, according to a statement by the University of Cambridge.

The best-known theoretical physicist of his time, Hawking wrote so lucidly of the mysteries of space, time and black holes that his book, “A Brief History of Time,” became an international best-seller, making him one of science’s biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years,” his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement. 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 forever.”

Even though his body was attacked by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, when Hawking was 21, he stunned doctors by living with the normally fatal illness for more than 50 years. A severe attack of pneumonia in 1985 left him breathing through a tube, forcing him to communicate through an electronic voice synthesizer that gave him his distinctive robotic monotone.

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Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died early Wednesday, a University of Cambridge spokesman said. Hawking was known for writing about the mysteries of space, time and black holes. He was 76 years old. (March 14)

But he continued his scientific work, appeared on television and married for a second time.

As one of Isaac Newton’s successors as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, Hawking was involved in the search for the great goal of physics — a “unified theory.”

Such a theory would resolve the contradictions between Einstein’s theory of relativity, which describes the laws of gravity that govern the motion of large objects like planets, and the quantum mechanics theory, which deals with the world of subatomic particles.

For Hawking, the search was almost a religious quest — he said finding a “theory of everything” would allow mankind to “know the mind of God.”

“A complete, consistent unified theory is only the first step: our goal is a complete understanding of the events around us, and of our own existence,” he wrote in “A Brief History of Time.”

In later years, though, he suggested a unified theory might not exist.

He followed up “A Brief History of Time” in 2001 with the more accessible sequel “The Universe in a Nutshell,” updating readers on concepts like super gravity, naked singularities and the possibility of an 11-dimensional universe.

Hawking said belief in a God who intervenes in the universe “to make sure the good guys win or get rewarded in the next life” was wishful thinking.

“But one can’t help asking the question: Why does the universe exist?” he said in 1991. “I don’t know an operational way to give the question or the answer, if there is one, a meaning. But it bothers me.”

The combination of his best-selling book and his almost total disability — for a while he could use a few fingers, later he could only tighten the muscles on his face — made him one of science’s most recognizable faces.

He made cameo television appearances in “The Big Bang Theory,” ″The Simpsons” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and counted among his fans U2 guitarist The Edge, who attended a January 2002 celebration of Hawking’s 60th birthday.

His early life was chronicled in the 2014 film “The Theory of Everything,” with Eddie Redmayne winning the best actor Academy Award for his portrayal of the scientist. The film focused still more attention on Hawking’s remarkable achievements.

Some colleagues credited that celebrity with generating new enthusiasm for science.

His achievements and his longevity helped prove to many that even the most severe disabilities need not stop patients from living.

Richard Green, of the Motor Neurone Disease Association — the British name for ALS — said Hawking met the classic definition of the disease, as “the perfect mind trapped in an imperfect body.” He said Hawking had been an inspiration to people with the disease for many years.

Although it could take him minutes to compose answers to even simple questions Hawking said the disability did not impair his work. It certainly did little to dampen his ambition to physically experience space himself: Hawking savored small bursts of weightlessness in 2007 when he was flown aboard a jet that made repeated dives to simulate zero-gravity.

Hawking had hoped to leave Earth’s atmosphere altogether someday, a trip he often recommended to the rest of the planet’s inhabitants.

“In the long run the human race should not have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet,” Hawking said in 2008. “I just hope we can avoid dropping the basket until then.”

Hawking first earned prominence for his theoretical work on black holes. Disproving the belief that black holes are so dense that nothing could escape their gravitational pull, he showed that black holes leak a tiny bit of light and other types of radiation, now known as “Hawking radiation.”

“It came as a complete surprise,” said Gary Horowitz, a theoretical physicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It really was quite revolutionary.”

Horowitz said the find helped move scientists one step closer to cracking the unified theory.

Hawking’s other major scientific contribution was to cosmology, the study of the universe’s origin and evolution. Working with Jim Hartle of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Hawking proposed in 1983 that space and time might have no beginning and no end. “Asking what happens before the Big Bang is like asking for a point one mile north of the North Pole,” he said.

In 2004, he announced that he had revised his previous view that objects sucked into black holes simply disappeared, perhaps to enter an alternate universe. Instead, he said he believed objects could be spit out of black holes in a mangled form.

That new theory capped his three-decade struggle to explain a paradox in scientific thinking: How can objects really “disappear” inside a black hole and leave no trace, as he long believed, when subatomic theory says matter can be transformed but never fully destroyed?

Hawking was born Jan. 8, 1942, in Oxford, and grew up in London and St. Albans, northwest of the capital. In 1959, he entered Oxford University and then went on to graduate work at Cambridge.

Signs of illness appeared in his first year of graduate school, and he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease after the New York Yankee star who died of it. The disease usually kills within three to five years.

According to John Boslough, author of “Stephen Hawking’s Universe,” Hawking became deeply depressed. But as it became apparent that he was not going to die soon, his spirits recovered and he bore down on his work. Brian Dickie, director of research at the Motor Neurone Disease Association, said only 5 percent of those diagnosed with ALS survive for 10 years or longer. Hawking, he added, “really is at the extreme end of the scale when it comes to survival.”

Hawking married Jane Wilde in 1965 and they had three children, Robert, Lucy and Timothy.

Jane cared for Hawking for 20 years, until a grant from the United States paid for the 24-hour care he required.

He was inducted into the Royal Society in 1974 and received the Albert Einstein Award in 1978. In 1989, Queen Elizabeth II made him a Companion of Honor, one of the highest distinctions she can bestow.

He whizzed about Cambridge at surprising speed — usually with nurses or teaching assistants in his wake — traveled and lectured widely, and appeared to enjoy his fame. He retired from his chair as Lucasian Professor in 2009 and took up a research position with the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario.

Hawking divorced Jane in 1991, an acrimonious split that strained his relationship with their children. Writing in her autobiographical “Music to Move the Stars,” she said the strain of caring for Hawking for nearly three decades had left her feeling like “a brittle, empty shell.” Hawking married his one-time nurse Elaine Mason four years later, but the relationship was dogged by rumors of abuse.

Police investigated in 2004 after newspapers reported that he’d been beaten, suffering injuries including a broken wrist, gashes to the face and a cut lip, and was left stranded in his garden on the hottest day of the year.

Hawking called the charges “completely false.” Police found no evidence of any abuse. Hawking and Mason separated in 2006.

Lucy Hawking said her father had an exasperating “inability to accept that there is anything he cannot do.”

“I accept that there are some things I can’t do,” he told The Associated Press in 1997. “But they are mostly things I don’t particularly want to do anyway.”

Then, grinning widely, he added, “I seem to manage to do anything that I really want.”

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http://start.att.net/news/read/article/the_associated_press-theoretical_physicist_stephen_hawking_has_died_at-ap/category/news )

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Hawking’s website:  http://www.hawking.org.uk

 

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'Remember To Look Up At The Stars.' Read Some Of Stephen Hawking's Most Memorable Quotes

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Professor Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist who died Wednesday at the age of 76, enthralled the world with his work and teachings on space, time, and the universe.

He had a knack for making his pioneering research accessible to the wider public, and his brilliance deepened our understanding of the universe and our place within it.

Throughout his illustrious career, he was known for his quick wit and humor, often demonstrated at conferences and in interviews with the press. He also offered insights on a whole range of subjects. Here are some of his most famous quotes:

On life
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.” Hawking gave this now-famous piece of advice to his three children Lucy, Robert and Tim and related it in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2010. Included in those words of advice were: “Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.” And: “if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

Stephen Hawking to Diane Sawyer in 2010 on the most important advice he's given to his children (H/t @chrisdonovan) pic.twitter.com/WV3rRdPcy8— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) March 14, 2018

“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope,” he told Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2006.

On living with a disability
“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically,” he told the New York Times in 2011. Hawking was frequently frank about his battle with ALS, a degenerative neurological disease that often proves fatal. But he defied doctors expectations, living for over half a century after he was diagnosed in 1963, at the age of 21. The year before, he said in an introduction to the 2010 TV documentary series Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking: “Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind I am free.”

"Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically."Farewell, #StephenHawking pic.twitter.com/pW2W7eU3we— Philosopher Dogfox (@ProfesorRod) March 14, 2018

On being diagnosed with ALS
“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus,” he told the New York Times in 2004, after being asked how he kept his spirits up. “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus." RIP Stephen Hawking. pic.twitter.com/v1Y7kjbcRZ— Ava Williams (@adventureava) March 14, 2018

On being a celebrity
“The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognized,” he told an Israeli journalist in 2006. “It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away.”

On the potential of humans
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special,” Hawking told German paper Der Spiegel in 1988. He often spoke about space exploration and the extent of human potential.
On women
“They are a complete mystery,” he said in an interview with The New Scientist magazine in 2012, having confessed to having spent most of his 70th birthday thinking not about the wonders of the cosmos, but about women.

On religion
“There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason,” Hawking told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2010. “Science will win, because it works.” But his work wasn’t all dry rationality. “Science is not only a disciple of reason but, also, one of romance and passion,” he told PARADE magazine in 2010.

On the reason the universe exits
“If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God,” he wrote in his 1988 bestseller ‘A Brief History of Time’.

On finding alien life

Image result for stephen hawking on alien life

On climate change
On Death
“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,” Hawking said in an interview with The Guardian in May 2011.

Stephen Hawking quotes with images ~

https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=s1GpWsz_HKiM0gKJ6bmoAQ&q=Stephen+Hawking+quotes&oq=Stephen+Hawking+quotes&gs_l=psy-ab.3...878.89421.0.90051.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.0.0....0.P_brr0r869Q

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a great loss for us and the world but freedom and peace for him !  RIP :36:

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Disabled people worldwide are taking offense at what we non visibly disabled and non disabled people say when we refer to him as "free now"   .  I had the same thought as many, that if there is an "after", then  he is free from that body and that chair... but the disabled in chairs etc.. say it  is a lessening of their worth to say they are free  only when they die.    Some were very angry.   I don't know what Mr Hawking would prefer we say, or even if he believed in any kind of afterlife, but perhaps the  people who are upset have a point.  They say his chair WAS his freedom on this earth, as was his mind.... and to think that the only freedom for him came after death was to de-value his life here... though that was never my or anyone's intent.  I might have, inadvertently sent a message which I had not intended  but  had wrongly thought through good intent.   I am very sorry about that.   

I didn't know Mr Hawking, or even really know much of his work, but  I  do know, he was  genius on a level which  few achieve.  I liked that his sense of humor was sharp, and   any time he was written into a big Bang Theory episode I knew it would be good! I also know, he said we needed to stop trying to contact alien life, because if we found it,  it would be to us like we are to ants or   flies.  Not good.

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In his best-selling book "A Brief History of Time", physicist Stephen Hawking claimed that when physicists find the theory he and his colleagues are looking for - a so-called "theory of everything" - then they will have seen into "the mind of God". Hawking is by no means the only scientist who has associated God with the laws of physics. Nobel laureate Leon Lederman, for example, has made a link between God and a subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Lederman has suggested that when physicists find this particle in their accelerators it will be like looking into the face of God. But what kind of God are these physicists talking about?

Theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggests that in fact this is not much of a God at all. Weinberg notes that traditionally the word "God" has meant "an interested personality". But that is not what Hawking and Lederman mean. Their "god", he says, is really just "an abstract principle of order and harmony", a set of mathematical equations. Weinberg questions then why they use the word "god" at all. He makes the rather profound point that "if language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words, and 'god' historically has not meant the laws of nature." The question of just what is "God" has taxed theologians for thousands of years; what Weinberg reminds us is to be wary of glib definitions.

In his best-selling book "A Brief History of Time", physicist Stephen Hawking claimed that when physicists find the theory he and his colleagues are looking for - a so-called "theory of everything" - then they will have seen into "the mind of God". Hawking is by no means the only scientist who has associated God with the laws of physics. Nobel laureate Leon Lederman, for example, has made a link between God and a subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Lederman has suggested that when physicists find this particle in their accelerators it will be like looking into the face of God. But what kind of God are these physicists talking about?

Theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggests that in fact this is not much of a God at all. Weinberg notes that traditionally the word "God" has meant "an interested personality". But that is not what Hawking and Lederman mean. Their "god", he says, is really just "an abstract principle of order and harmony", a set of mathematical equations. Weinberg questions then why they use the word "god" at all. He makes the rather profound point that "if language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words, and 'god' historically has not meant the laws of nature." The question of just what is "God" has taxed theologians for thousands of years; what Weinberg reminds us is to be wary of glib definitions.  (PBS.org)

In John 4:24 KJV , the Bible tells us that "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."  With all my experiences with the spirit realm, I am in agreement.

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"I recommend reading Neale Donald Walsch's "Conversations with God."  It tells the true story of Neale Donald Walsch that inspired and changed the lives of millions worldwide. The journey begins after he unexpectedly breaks his neck in a car accident and loses his job. Soon after, we witness his transformation from your everyday guy to a homeless bum struggling just to stay alive. Neale's eye-opening roller coaster ride takes us through his emotional battle to get enough food, make friends and regain his life. And just when things seem to be going his way, they get worse. Feeling like a complete failure in all aspects of his life, Neale, full of anger and bitterness asks God a pile of demanding questions. Much to his disbelief, Neale received his answers! The unworldly conversations that follow end up being read by over 7 million people in 36 languages around the world and counting.

About What God Said. God's number one message to the world: “You've got me all wrong.”   (Written by Brian Chandler)

I believe the only true freedom is in our spirits.  The flesh remains behind when we cross over into the spirit realm, where Creator God (The Great Spirit) resides. 

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