Person: Hawking, Stephen William
Stephen Hawking was one of the world's foremost theoretical physicists famous for his work on black holes.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Stephen attended St Albans High School for Girls (which took boys up to the age of 10).
- However Stephen was ill at the time of the examinations and remained at St Albans school which he had attended from the age of 11.
- Hawking wanted to specialise in mathematics in his last couple of years at school where his mathematics teacher had inspired him to study the subject.
- In March 1959 Hawking took the scholarship examinations with the aim of studying natural sciences at Oxford.
- From Oxford, Hawking moved to Cambridge to take up research in general relativity and cosmology, a difficult area for someone with only a little mathematical background.
- After completing his doctorate in 1966 Hawking was awarded a fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
- In 1979 Hawking was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge.
- Between 1965 and 1970 Hawking worked on singularities in the theory of general relativity devising new mathematical techniques to study this area of cosmology.
- From 1970 Hawking began to apply his previous ideas to the study of black holes.
- Continuing this work on black holes, Hawking discovered in 1970 a remarkable property.
- Another remarkable achievement of Hawking's using these techniques was his "no boundary proposal" made in 1983 with Jim Hartle of Santa Barbara.
- In 1982 Hawking decided to write a popular book on cosmology.
- Hawking was given a computer system to enable him to have an electronic voice.
- In 2002 Hawking published On the shoulders of giants.
- Each work is prefaced with a commentary by Hawking.
- Also from 7 to 10 January 2002 a workshop and symposium was held in Cambridge to celebrate Hawking's 60th birthday.
- Although his work on black hole thermodynamics is perhaps the most well known, Hawking has also made major contributions to the study of singularity theorems in general relativity, black hole uniqueness, quantum fields in curved spacetimes, Euclidean quantum gravity, the wave function of the universe and many other areas as well.
- In addition to his own work, Hawking has served as advisor and mentor to a remarkable set of students.
- Furthermore, it would be hard to imagine assembling any list of researchers working in quantum cosmology without including a large number of Hawking's students and close colleagues.
- In 2005 Hawking published Information loss in black holes in which he proposed a solution to the information loss paradox.
- In the same year Black holes and the information paradox was published, being the transcript of the famous talk Hawking gave at the 17th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation in Dublin in 2004.
- This is another anthology edited by Hawking containing selections from the writings of twenty-one mathematicians.
- Of course Hawking has received, and continues to receive, a large number of honours for his remarkable achievements.
- In 2003 Hawking was awarded the Michelson Morley Award of Case Western Reserve University and in 2006 the Copley Medal of the Royal Society.
- This last award, announced on 24 August 2006, was presented to Hawking on the 30 November 2006 at the Society's annual Anniversary Day, commemorating the foundation of the Society in 1660.
- This was the 275th anniversary of the Copley Medal and the award to Hawking was marked in a unique way.
- We think that this is particularly appropriate as Stephen has dedicated his life to thinking about the larger Universe.
Born 8 January 1942, Oxford, England. Died 14 March 2018, Cambridge, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin England, Physics
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive