Remembering Stephen Hawking, born January 8, 1942 and passed away March 14, 2018.
Stephen Hawking was a noted scientist. Confined to a wheelchair by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), he communicated by means of an electronic vocal synthesizer. He is famous for formulating several theories regarding the nature of black holes, often working with colleague Kip Thorne, and for his best-selling science books including A Brief History of Time.
Hawking is the only person, to date, to have played himself on Star Trek (excluding historical people who have appeared via stock footage), appearing as his own holographic counterpart in the Star Trek: The Next Generation sixth season episode “Descent” in 1993. Whilst filming the episode, Hawking was taken on a tour of the engineering set; indicating the warp core, he said, “I’m working on that.” (Star Trek Encyclopedia) On a subsequent visit to the set, he passed by actor Brent Spiner and asked where his money was from winning the hand of poker. Spiner replied that the check was in the mail. Hawking was interviewed on 8 April 1993 when he filmed his Trek appearance. This interview was part of the TNG Season 6 DVD special feature “Mission Overview Year Six” – “Descent – Part 1 Featuring Stephen Hawking”.
Hawking has also played himself on Futurama, The Simpsons, and The Big Bang Theory, and appeared in documentaries about Red Dwarf and Doctor Who. In 2010 he co-authored The Grand Design with former Star Trek: The Next Generation story editor and writer of the episode “The Dauphin”, Leonard Mlodinow.
Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Hawking is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009.
Hawking has achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his A Brief History of Time stayed on the British Sunday Times best-sellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.
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