Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist who is known for having significant contributions in physics especially in the field of cosmology and on quantum gravity.
Stephen William Hawking was born in Oxford, England on the 8th of January 1942. His father, Dr. Frank Hawking, was a renowned researcher in tropical medicine and biology. His mother, Isobel Hawking, moved from London to Oxford with Frank Hawking while she was still pregnant with Stephen when London was attacked during the World War II. Stephen Hawking was the first child to his parents and his family moved back to London when he was born.
Stephen Hawking began his schooling at the St. Alban’s High School for Girls in 1950 when he was still 8 years old. During his time, boys could attend at girl’s schools until they were 10 years old. When he was 11 years old, he was transferred to the St. Alban’s School. His father wanted him to study medicine when he entered the University of Oxford in 1959 as a scholar but he was more interested to take up mathematics.
The University of Oxford did not offer mathematics so he took up physics with his degree in natural sciences. After studying for three years, he was awarded with a first class honors in his degree. He got his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Oxford in 1962 and then studied in Cambridge to study theoretical astronomy and cosmology.
In 1963, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed to have ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis which made him void of neuromuscular control and he was confined to a wheelchair. The doctors told him that he cannot live with enough time to complete his doctorate degree because of his incurable disease. It was only when he met the woman that he would want to marry that his research progressed and he was able to go through his doctorate degree when his illness slowed down. In 1966, he finished his doctorate degree.
It was in 1970 when Stephen Hawking discovered that black holes emit radiation and combined the theory of general relativity to the quantum theory which is called as the singularity theorem.
Stephen Hawking became a Research Fellow at the Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge where he later became a Professorial Fellow. He became a part of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in Cambridge in 1973 and became a professor of gravitational physics in 1977. In 1979, he became a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. He also became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974. He was a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He had 12 honorary degrees. In 1989, he became a Companion of Honour. In 1988, he published a book titled “ A Brief History of Time” which describes his theories of the universe and it became a best seller.
Stephen Hawking was married to Jane Wilde in 1965 and they had three children. He was divorced to Jane Wilde in 1991 and he was married to Elaine Mason in 1995. He was divorced again to Elaine Mason in 2006.
Stephen Hawking is a notable scientist known for his theories in the field of cosmology. His principles comprise the fundamental laws that govern the universe. One of his most significant contributions is his concept of time that started with the Big Bang theory around ten billion years ago.
The Big Bang theory describes how the universe came into being. The Big Bang theory was realized when scientists showed that the universe is expanding. It revolves on the basic principle that the universe started with a massive explosion which is termed as the Big Bang. It was during the Big Bang that space and time started to exist and matter in space began to expand.
Stephen Hawking laid his principles on black holes that opposed the dominating argument that a black hole destroys anything that will fall into it. He suggested that the formation of many black holes may have occurred early after the Big Bang. Hawking radiation is what is referred as the subatomic particles that black holes thermally create and emit.
In collaboration with Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking created a new mathematical model associated with the general theory of relativity of Albert Einstein and he proved a singularity theorem. It was Penrose who proved that a singularity can possibly exist in the space-time curvature.
Stephen Hawking’s singularity theorem applies to the whole of the universe that goes back in time which is associated with the Big Bang theory. His singularity theorem has a dominant energy condition in which the theorem is only true when matter is obeying a stronger energy condition. A singularity is defined as a location where the space-time curvature becomes infinite and where light rays or objects are able to reach in finite time. Singularities are found in cosmological solutions that do not have a cosmological constant or a scalar field energy. A singularity can be found in a black hole. A black hole is the final stage of a star in which the gravitational field strength is already infinite.
Stephen Hawking showed that the origin of our universe is a singularity and he describes that all of matter that is in the universe started as a concentration in a single point, comprising an infinitesimal, dense body. The Big Bang theory states that this dense body exploded and this was the start of time.
When a star collapses, it forms a black hole and when this happens with the star spinning, a centrifugal force can counteract gravity that will keep a singularity from forming. The singularity theorem states that when the edges of a black hole form, a singularity will always form. The edges of a black hole are collectively called as the black hole’s event horizon. Stephen Hawking proved that surface of the event horizon could not decrease and that it can only increase. Stephen Hawking also proved that the surface area of a new hole that is formed by merging two black holes is larger than the sum of the surface area of the two black holes.
In Stephen Hawking’s study of black holes, he discovered that black holes are able to emit radiation or give off heat and this discovery went against the dominating claim that nothing is able to escape from a black hole.