A Tribute to The Crippled Genius- Stephan Hawking

November 30, 2014 - 6 minutes read

They say that it’s hard to find miracles happening in the world these days. With so much of advancement in science and technology, one does not get to believe that an omnipresent deity still has the power to wow us every time we look around. Stephen Hawking is among those wonders of the world.

Born to Oxford University aluminium, Isobel and Frank, Stephen Hawking came into this world on 8th January 1942 during World War II. His father always dreamed of his son to join medicine but Stephen showed his love for Stars and Sky. His mother rightly believed that stars would draw his son towards them and that was the beginning of a genius in making.

During initial years of his academics life, Hawking was not considered as an exceptional child. All his all interests lied outside the school life as he adored board games. When he turned 16 years old, he assembled a computer with re-utilized parts for solving a mathematical equation. In the very next year, Oxford University opened his doors for him. He was very interested into taking up a Mathematics course, but since Oxford was not offering it at that time, he settled for Physics. He graduated in 1962 and later joined University of Cambridge for a PhD in Cosmetology.

Things took a drastic turn when Hawking began to feel the changes in his physical health. He often tripped, his speech deteriorated and most of his physical abilities started declining, but he did not consider them serious; it was when his father noticed the change in his health, he was pushed to a doctor. For continuous period of two weeks, he was under doctor supervisions at his home. It was a very hard time to pass for him and his family.  Describing the experience, Hawking once said,

“They took a muscle sample from my arm, stuck electrodes into me, and injected some radio opaque fluid into my spine, and watched it going up and down with X-rays, as they tilted the bed. After all that, they didn’t tell me what I had, except that it was not multiple sclerosis, and that I was an Atypical case.”

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Doctors diagnosed him with initial stages of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) that could cause his nerves to shut down, leading to a life span left with two short years. Interestingly enough, this is what caused Stephan to become a renowned Physicist and Cosmetologist. He even quoted that he was bore with life before his illness but with the realization that he might not live that longer to earn his PhD degree, he engulfed himself into research and exploration.

In 1968, he went on to become the member of the Institute of the Astronomy. Hawking’s theory of black hole radiation in 1974 made him a superstar of the scientific world.  His first book, ‘The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time’ was published in 1975. This discovery earned him much fame. He became the member of Royal Society and received the high-status Albert Einstein Award. In 1975 he traveled to Rome, where he was privileged with the Pius XI Gold Medal for Science from Pope Paul VI. In 1979, he joined Cambridge University, as one of teaching’s most well-known posts the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

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With the achievements came tough times as well. By the mid 1970, Stephen physical condition was going from bad to worst. In 1985, he lost his voice and only his family member or close friends were able to understand him. Later, a computer programmer from California developed a speech program that accurately translated the idea and flow of logic in Hawkings head to actual computer code.

 

Sky is the limit but for Hawking, space was his area of interest. While staying in Kennedy Space Center Florida, he was given a chance to be in surroundings with zero gravity. For two hours over the Atlantic, Stephen was on an adapted Boeing 727. He was unbound from his wheelchair to practice eruptions of weightlessness. Pictures of the spontaneously moving physicist plopped across newspapers around the globe.taringa.ner

His ventures into widespread culture have included guest appearances on The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and even a documented commentary on the Pink Floyd song “Keep Talking.” In 1992, Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris presented a movie about Hawking’s life, with a title ‘A Brief History of Time.’

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Stephen made news in 2012 for two very diverse developments. It was publicized in early April that he had contributed in a 2011 experimental of a fresh headband-styled device named the iBrain. The device is created to read the wearer’s opinions by picking up waves of electrical brain signals which are then read by a special algorithm.

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This year in November, movie ‘The Theory of Everything’ based on the life of Stephan Hawking is been presented in cinemas.

Written By:
Zunaira Sheikh,
Igniter, RF Studio.

Picture Credits:
Picture 1: en.wikipedia.org
Picture 2: nbcnews.com
Picture 3: taringa.net
Picture 4: quotessays.com
Picture 5: quotessays.com

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