By Kenneth Shu
March 14th, 2018, was a dark day for the scientific world. On Pi day, the world witnessed the tragic passing of one of its most brilliant of minds: Stephen Hawking.
The British physicist, Stephen Hawking, was born through the chaos of WWII on January 8th 1942 in Oxford, UK. Through his early years, Hawking would develop study and achieve mastery in the fields of theoretical physics and cosmology at Oxford and Cambridge, marry his college sweet heart, and begin his graduate work at Trinity Hall. Yet it was also at this time that Hawking would be diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease that would gradually sever its victim’s neurological connections and render them into a painful state of paralysis. Having gone through multiple medical procedures and check ups, doctors were all convinced that he would pass away in the next two years, but they were wrong.
Armed with the desire to live the fullest of his life, Hawking would continue his academic pursuits in theoretical physics. He would go on to discover Hawking Radiation, formulate the Gibbson-Hawking effect, and many other groundbreaking theorems that defined modern day physics. He would also write his renowned book A Brief History of Time, give innumerable counts of academic lectures, and raise three children whilst under the painful state of paralysis. He would redefine our understandings of physics and perseverance, whilst his mind roamed the vastness of the universe itself.
For a paralyzed man whom outlived his diagnosis by 53 years, Stephen Hawking was a truly brilliant genius that shattered our expectations of perseverance, and expanded the boundaries of human limitation. He was truly a once in a millennium genius, and a role model for the many aspiring generations to come.
He will be missed.