A star in the universe

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The world renowned physicists, cosmologist and author of the worldwide bestseller “A Brief History of Time” has died peacefully in the early hours of this morning (14th March) at his home in Cambridge.

An Oxford Maths graduate, he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease at the age of 21, he was told he had a further 2 years to live. However, the prospect of an early death ‘urged him onwards’ and he outlived his prognosis by 53 years, passing away at the age of 76.

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His infinite goal was to obtain a complete understanding on the universe. While others in his field pondered on the creation of black holes in space, he applied the same thinking to the cosmos itself. He played back the story of the universe and believed the opening scene was singularity. This means that, the stars, turning planets, including Earth with all its lives, loves and heartbreaks, originate from a dot, even smaller than a full stop.

His first book published in 1988, explains to the general reader, the laws which govern the universe. This made science more accessible than ever before. Hawking’s book was translated into 40 different languages, sold over 11 million copies worldwide, it sold 2 million copies here in the UK alone. Hawking gave his work a ‘new lease of life’ by venturing into the digital world with the launch of Hawking’s Pocket Universe App.

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Hawking’s authorial success flourished as he went on to write many further groundbreaking titles: Black Holes and Baby Universes; An Illustrated Brief History of Time; The Universe in a Nutshell and A Briefer History of Time, as well as his memoir My Brief History. Hawking also co-authored several children’s books with his daughter Lucy, selling over 112,000 copies. His contribution to literature and how we think of science will remain his legacy.

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Transworld, Hawking’s publisher said ‘it has been a privilege to publish Hawking’, calling him ‘one of the worlds’s greatest thinkers. The Managing Director at Penguin Random House Children’s UK, said that ‘I know that Stephen’s legacy will live on through the books, bringing his discoveries, achievements and clarity of thought to the next generation.

Tributes are pouring in for the physicist:

The Prime Minister tweeted saying Hawking “was a brilliant and extraordinary mind- one of the great scientists of his generation. His courage, humour and determination to get most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten”.

Actors Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Prof Hawking in a 2004 BBC TV film said ‘He virtually created the publishing genre of popular science. I will miss our margaritas but will raise one to the stars to celebrate your life”.

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NASA took to twitter to celebrate his life and achievements; ‘Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science, His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on Space Station in 2014’.

LSP commend Stephen Hawking’s outstanding contribution to Science and Literature, he will live through his work.

Prina Anand, 2018