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The life of Professor Steven HawkingThe life of Professor Steven Hawking

The life of Professor Steven Hawking

The life of Professor Steven Hawking


United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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unyielding in the face of disease and the universe

The world has lost a giant. Prof Stephen Hawking, the Galaxy’s best-known scientist and most unlikely cultural icon, died on Wednesday 14 March at his home in Cambridge. I’ve spent the days since speaking to those who knew him and one clear theme emerges. Hawking was a stubborn man. Of course, he was funny and smart, that was clear for the world to see. But perhaps, to those of us watching from afar, his radiance hid the vital ingredient to his genius: true grit.Hawking was determined to never let his condition slow him down. Sometimes literally: Hawking broke his leg on his 60th birthday after driving too fast off a kerb. He travelled the world, and even had a taste of zero-gravity.It was this same resolve that would drive him,…

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HAYLEY BENNETTScience writer Hayley explores the pathology of motor neurone disease and outlines the challenges posed by diagnosing and treating it.PETER J BENTLEYA Professor of computer science at University College London, Peter delves into the technology that enabled Hawking to keep talking.MARCUS CHOWNMarcus, an author and former radio astronomer, guides you through the theories and writings that characterised Hawking’s life.BRIAN CLEGGAward-winning science author Brian delves into optimism and pessimism inherent in Hawking’s outlook for the future of humanity.CHARLOTTE SLEIGHProf Charlotte Sleigh examines how the achievements of Britain’s greatest scientific minds’ stack up against Hawking’s accomplishments. ■…

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more than a scientist

THREE OF A KINDWith sisters Mary and Phillipa as a young boy. In 1955, parents Frank and Isobel adopted a fourth sibling, Edward.SCHOOL DAYS, 1958While attending the private St Albans school, a 16-year-old Hawking (left) and his friends built a working computer using parts salvaged from clocks and an old telephone switchboard.THE GRADUATE, 1963Hawking graduated from University College, Oxford with a first-class honours degree in natural sciences in 1962. He then moved to Cambridge to take up post-graduate research at Trinity Hall, but his future was thrown into doubt when, early in 1963, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common form of motor neurone disease.FAMILY MAN, 1978Hawking with his first wife, Jane, and his children Robert and Lucy. The couple’s third child, Timothy, was born the…

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hawking’s life story

Stephen Hawking was one of the most imaginative and influential physicists of his generation – yet he never won the Nobel Prize. He wrote a popular science book that became a publishing sensation – but which is arguably the least-read bestseller of all time. He was cruelly confined to a wheelchair by a disease that progressively paralysed him – yet his mind ranged freely across the immensities of the cosmos. These are just some of the paradoxes of what, by any standards, was an extraordinary life.Hawking was born in Luftwaffe-ravaged London on 8 January 1942, exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo (a fact that greatly appealed to him). Though his father wanted him to be a doctor, he was inspired by a schoolteacher to study physics at the…

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hawking on the silver screen

The 2014 film The Theory of Everything, which starred Eddie Redmayne as Hawking (pictured right), was a huge commercial and critical success, picking up five Oscar and 10 BAFTA nominations, and winning one and three of them respectively. The film was based on Jane Hawking’s 2007 memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, which was itself an updated edition of her 1999 book Music to Move the Stars. The later was written while the couple were estranged, and Jane rewrote it once they became reconciled (after Hawking’s second marriage broke down).But the film wasn’t the first to depict Hawking’s life in film: that honour goes to the 1991 Steven Spielberg-produced film version of A Brief History of Time, which was really much less about the book than it was…

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a brief history of time

After years of revisions, the book Stephen Hawking began in 1982 was finally published in 1988debris from Pan Am Flight 103, which was destroyed over LockerbieKylie Minogue celebrates the success of her single I Should be so Luckythe deaths of 167 people made the Piper Alpha disaster the world’s most deadly oil platform fireIt was 1988. Ex-soap star Kylie Minogue topped the charts with I Should be so Lucky. In the North Sea, 167 people died in the inferno that destroyed the Piper Alpha oil rig and, above Lockerbie in Scotland, a bomb detonated on board Pan Am Flight 103. The late-September launch of mission STS-26 aboard the space shuttle Discovery was the first lift-off for NASA’s vehicle since Challenger disintegrated 71 seconds into its flight in 1986. But the…