R.I.P. Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) [Image: Andre Pattenden via The Cambridge]

Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest theoretical physicists, has died at his home in Cambridge. He was 76.

At the age of 21, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rare neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It left him wheelchair-bound and totally paralyzed.

ALS normally claims the lives of those affected within three to five years after diagnosis, but Hawking managed to survive for more than half a century.

In 1974, Hawking stunned the world by showing that blackholes emit a radiation known as Hawking Radiation. According to Hawking Radiation, blackholes “create and emit sub-atomic particles until they exhaust their energy and evaporate completely.”

He also showed the world the connection between blackholes, physics and thermodynamics, and that has been a central theme theoretical physics ever since. Hawking also authored and co-wrote numerous books, including “A Brief History Of Time”.

RIP Stephen Hawking (January 8, 1942 – March 14, 2018)