Britain has lost its most famous scientist. Professor Hawking passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday).
The author of A Brief History of Time was famous for his work on black holes and relativity.
Over 50 years ago Hawking contracted a rare form of motor neurone disease and was given only a couple of years to live. His longevity confounded expectations, but he became synonymous with his wheelchair and synthesised voice box.
In a statement his children Lucy, Robert, and Tim said: “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.”
In 2010 Prof Hawking participated in a well-publicised spat with the then archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Hawking argued that a law such as gravity proved that the universe was inevitable and didn’t need a creator to “light the blue touchpaper” and set existence going.
Dr Williams responded: “Belief in God is not about plugging a gap in explaining how one thing relates to another within the universe.
“It is the belief that there is an intelligent, living agent on whose activity everything ultimately depends for its existence. Physics on its own will not settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing.”
Stephen Hawking finally knows the answer. Sadly, as of yet he has not shared it with us.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” – Stephen Hawking