By Prabhvir Lakhan
Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76 on March 14. He was diagnosed with the motor neuron disease ALS at the age of 22. He died because of complications from the disease. Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, who portrayed Hawking in The Theory of Everything, said something that a lot of people were thinking: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind.”
Hawking revolutionized theoretical science and cosmology, as his work regarding black holes had large contributions to general relativity and quantum gravity. He also proved that a black hole also known as a singularity led to the creation of the universe. There was not very much information on black holes before Hawking’s research. After his research was published, more people started to research them, and it also led to controversy.
“Stephen Hawking has contributed to productive discourse in science. It is beneficial to have major figures that propose ideas and then those ideas are discussed, studied, examined by people all over the world. Hawking had strong opinions, but he was able to expand and modify on his ideas over time as people debated them,” said chemistry teacher Mr. Matthew Payne.
The cause of Hawking’s death was complications from ALS, and he had been dealing with the disease since the 1960s.
“I admire him especially for not giving up despite his unfortunate physical condition. Over 50 years ago, at the time of diagnosis with his debilitating condition, the doctors gave him only 2 years to live,” said physics teacher Mr. Paul Haiducu.
Hawking was someone that had a lot of influence in the world of science, and that was apparent through his promotion of space travel.
“Stephen Hawking was a strong proponent of humans exploring space and potentially colonizing Mars. His influence combined with the influence of others like Elon Musk potentially allows ideas to turn into reality,” Payne said.
Hawking was more than just a scientist. He was also seen as a funny person and had cameos in Star Trek, The Simpsons, and The Big Bang Theory.
“I also admire him for his sense of humor, an essential ingredient for a happy life. His appearances on The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory were hilarious,” Haiducu said.