Born: 8 January 1942, Oxford, England
Educated: St Albans school, Oxford University and later, Cambridge University
Known for: A leader in the fields of theoretical physics and cosmology, and his best-selling science book, A Brief History of Time.
• Hawkings’ education got off to a rocky start: he was late learning to read and was too ill to take the entrance exams for the prestigious Westminster School, so he ended up in high school at St Albans.
• Hawkings originally wanted to study mathematics at university, despite his father wanting him to study medicine. He chose physics and chemistry at Oxford since they didn’t offer maths.
• Hawkings initially hated Oxford: at 17, he was younger than everyone else, and did very little work in his time there. Nonetheless, by the end of his time there, he was awarded a first class degree in Natural Science.
• At age 21 he was diagnosed with ALS, a type of Motor Neurone Disease and given only two years to live, though he survives and continues to publish and lecture to this day.
• He went on to do his masters and PHD at Cambridge in Cosmology
• Hawking’s speciality is the basic laws which govern the universe, studying black holes and the big bang, under the banner of general relativity.
• Hawking has a number of prestigious awards to his name including the Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the highest award a civilian can hold in the US. He also holds a CBE from the Queen.
Books by Stephen Hawking
Staying on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for 237 weeks A Brief History of Time broke all records and is still regarded as one of the most important books in science today.
Here, Hawking examines our knowledge of the universe and the workings of M-theory, suggesting that the universe revolves around physics rather than God’s work.
Available to library members for download on Digital Library:
In this fascinating book, two leading physicists, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose debate whether there can be one single quantum theory of gravity.
Stephen Hawking: His Life and Work (2008) by Kitty Ferguson
Written with Hawkings help and that of his close associates, this biography accounts Hawking’s remarkable scientific career as well as delving into his personal life, to paint a full picture of this fascinating character.
Bang: The Complete History of the Universe (2012) by Chris Lintott, Brian May, and Patrick Moore
Starting when it all began, and looking far into the future, this book explains it all. Based on the great work of scientists like Einstein and Hawking, this account of the universe is bang up to date.
Make sure you come along to our screening of ‘The Theory of Everything’ in Karachi this month!
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Featured Image Copyright Stephen Hawking NASA 50th (200804210005HQ) CC NASA HQ PHOTO