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Stephen Hawking and His Achievements

Stephen Hawking Quiz
Stephen Hawking Quiz

We often like the things our parents like and we grow up to do the things our parents do. So it was with Stephen Hawking. His parents were academics who loved science and learning. His mother, Isobel, was one of the first female graduates from Oxford College. His father was a medical researcher who also graduated from Oxford. The family didn’t play sports or watch television to pass the time. They kept beehives in their basement and made firecrackers in the garage. Dinner was a silent affair because everyone was reading a book.

Stephen Hawking Facts For Kids

  • He was a famous scientist.
  • Stephen studied stars.
  • He wrote books about space.
  • Was born on Jan 8, 1942.
  • Talked through a computer.
  • He had a disease, ALS.
  • Focused on black holes.
  • Lived in England.
  • Died in 2018.
  • Was in TV shows too!

Black Holes

A renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking, fundamentally advanced our comprehension of black holes through his significant contributions. He formulated the groundbreaking ‘Hawking Radiation’ theory, which proposes that black holes are not entirely black. Instead, they emit minuscule particles and gradually deplete energy, disappearing eventually over billions of years.

This revolutionary theory, merging the principles of quantum mechanics and general relativity, has been instrumental in enabling scientists to delve deeper into the enigma of black holes, regions in space characterized by an intense gravitational pull that prevents even light from escaping.

A Brief History of Time

Renowned for his significant contributions to theoretical physics, Stephen Hawking was an exceptional scientist who brought the mysteries of the universe to the mainstream through his bestselling book ‘A Brief History of Time.’

Published in 1988, the book was an immediate success, selling over 25 million copies globally, primarily due to Hawking’s ability to articulate complex scientific theories such as space, time, black holes, and the Big Bang into a language comprehensible to both children and adults.

His work not only demystified these intricate concepts but also sparked scientific curiosity in many youngsters, thus widening the audience’s understanding of the universe.

Theoretical Physics

Stephen Hawking, an extraordinary scientist, made pivotal contributions to Theoretical Physics, particularly known for his innovative work on black holes and his revolutionary ‘Hawking Radiation’ theory.

This theory, proposing that black holes emit small amounts of thermal radiation due to quantum effects near their event horizon, challenged the prevailing belief that nothing could escape a black hole, thereby bridging the gap between quantum mechanics and general relativity, two crucial physics theories.

Despite being almost entirely paralyzed due to a disease, Hawking persevered in his research, making intricate scientific theories comprehensible for people across all age groups.

Cosmology

Stephen Hawking was a renowned scientist whose pioneering work in cosmology, the exploration of the universe’s origins, development, and ultimate destiny, laid the groundwork for our understanding of the cosmos.

He introduced revolutionary theories concerning the Big Bang, the explosive event theorized to have initiated the universe, and black holes. Hawking postulated that black holes are not entirely black, as they emit particles, leading to the discovery of a phenomenon now termed Hawking Radiation.

Additionally, he delved into the concept of singularity, a specific point in space or time where physical laws become nonsensical, such as within a black hole or at the onset of the Big Bang. His invaluable contributions have significantly enhanced our comprehension of the universe we inhabit.

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

Stephen Hawking, a renowned scientist, represented not only intellectual prowess but also resilience and strength, profoundly impacting the world despite living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating disease.

Diagnosed at the tender age of 21, it was predicted that Hawking’s life would be cut short within a few years as ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, progressively weakens muscles, making basic life functions increasingly difficult. Contrary to these predictions, Hawking lived with the disease for over half a century, continuing to make seminal contributions to cosmology.

He utilized a special computer system for communication, ingeniously controlled by a muscle in his cheek, exemplifying his unwavering determination. His life story serves as a beacon, demonstrating that physical limitations are no match for the power of the mind, inspiring countless individuals globally.

Cambridge University

Stephen Hawking, a celebrated scientist and esteemed professor at the globally prestigious Cambridge University in England, was renowned not only for his academic prowess but also for his extraordinary resilience.

In 1979, he was honored with the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics position, a prestigious role previously held by the illustrious Sir Isaac Newton. Despite confronting a rare form of motor neurone disease that left him almost entirely paralyzed, Hawking’s unwavering determination enabled him to continue teaching and conducting research at Cambridge for over three decades.

His courage to transcend his physical limitations made him a source of inspiration to students and academics worldwide.

General Relativity

Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking made significant contributions to our knowledge of the universe, notably expanding on Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Hawking’s profound work focused on black holes, cosmic regions with gravity so intense that nothing, not even light, can escape their pull. In a groundbreaking revelation that contested earlier beliefs about the nature of black holes, Hawking discovered these cosmic entities were not entirely black as previously thought.

He found that they could emit minute quantities of thermal radiation, henceforth named Hawking Radiation, furthering our understanding of these fascinating cosmic phenomena.

Quantum Mechanics

Stephen Hawking was a distinguished scientist renowned for his significant contributions to Quantum Mechanics, a physics branch that explores the universe’s minutest particles like atoms and photons. He gained particular recognition for his research on black holes and the groundbreaking discovery of ‘Hawking Radiation.’

This discovery, which demonstrated that black holes could emit radiation, revolutionized the traditional physics laws that previously argued nothing could escape a black hole. Hawking’s influential work served as a bridge between Quantum Mechanics and Einstein’s relativity theory, thereby enriching our comprehension of the universe.

Hawking Radiation

Renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking, revolutionized our understanding of black holes through his introduction of a compelling theory, now known as Hawking Radiation. Contrary to previous scientific belief that black holes were entirely black, Hawking proposed that they emit minimal thermal radiation as a result of quantum effects near the event horizon.

This essentially signifies that black holes have the potential to lose energy over time until they ultimately vanish. Prior to Hawking’s ground-breaking theory, the scientific community held the strong belief that nothing could escape the grasp of a black hole. Hawking Radiation has significantly contributed to deepening our understanding of the enigmatic realm of black holes.

Time Travel

Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, recognized for his groundbreaking theories about the intricacies of time and space, dedicated a significant portion of his career to unraveling the mysteries of black holes, the Big Bang, and the nature of time. Intriguingly, Hawking theorized that black holes could potentially serve as gateways to alternate universes or distinct epochs, though this hypothesis remains unproven.

Furthermore, he postulated that time travel might be feasible, albeit only in a forward direction, due to the principles outlined in Einstein’s theory of relativity. This theory suggests that as speed increases, time decelerates. Consequently, if a spacecraft could be constructed to approach light speed, time within said craft would elapse more slowly compared to Earth time.

This implies a possibility where astronauts might voyage into Earth’s future, returning younger than those they initially left behind.

 

 

Stephen Hawking Portrait Image - Science for Kids All About Stephen Hawking
All About Stephen Hawking: He was born on January 8, 1942 and was a brilliant physicist who has taught us many things about the solar system.

Stephen wasn’t a great student at school, but he loved learning. He would lie on the grass and watch the stars with his mum. He and his sister made a game of discovering all the unusual ways to get into their house. He built a computer when he was sixteen from spare parts.

Stephen grew up to become a brilliant physicist who has taught us many things about the solar system. His books help everyday people understand complex concepts. Life hasn’t always been easy for Stephen though. When he was attending Oxford University, he started having problems walking and talking. He was later diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. His doctor gave him 2 ½ years to live.

Black Hole Study Image
His work on the universe and black holes has changed the way scientists think about the universe.

Fun Facts about Stephen Hawking for Kids

  • Hawking says his disease made him work harder. He realized he had things to do in life and he better get going.
  • He married Jane Wilde after his diagnosis.
  • Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, 300 years after the death of Galileo. He was born during World War II. His parents moved from London to Oxford to keep him safe during the war.
  • Hawking’s condition continued to get worse. He cannot speak or walk. He keeps writing and learning though. He uses a special computer program to talk for him.
  • His work on the universe and black holes has changed the way scientists think about the universe.
  • Hawking dreams big. He believes time travel is possible and people may someday live on other planets.
  • You can read his book, A Briefer History of Time.
Stephen Hawking in His Wheelchair Image
He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease while studying at Oxford University. He started having problems walking and talking.

Stephen Hawking Vocabulary

  1. Spare: leftover
  2. Diagnosis: when a doctor determines a person has a specific condition or disease
  3. Physicist: a scientist who studies physics
Astronaut Landing on Another Planet Image
Hawking believes that time travel is possible and people may someday live on other planets.

Learn More All About Stephen Hawking

Check out this cool video about Stephen Hawking’s theory:

A video all about Stephen Hawking’s theory about the possibility of people going to the future.