Stephen Hawking: An Inspiration to Millions
By Mohammed Adel
Tonight the world mourns the loss of arguably the most brilliant mind on the entire earth; Dr. Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking was a renowned physicist whose work on general relativity and quantum mechanics was groundbreaking and his work on black holes and their dynamics was of unparalleled significance. Having his last day here on earth being Pi Day and Albert Einstein's birthday is seemingly the perfect ending to a life filled with achievements and success.
Hawking as a child was not an early bloomer. He blamed the regressive educational system for his delayed ability to read. He then started to excel in his studies throughout his remaining days at school and university.
His contributions to science are many and each has its own importance. He continued the work of Albert Einstein and worked on proving that there was a singularity in the early universe, better known now as the "Big Bang". He also worked on Black Hole mechanics (BHM) and related it to thermodynamics. He came up with the second law of BHM stating that the total surface area of the black hole will never diminish. Also he came up with the "no hair theorem"; stating that black holes can be defined by their mass, charge and angular momentum.
Hawking also said that contrary to common belief at that time, black holes emit heat and radiation - now called Hawking Radiation - and will eventually disappear. Although that process would take time longer than the age of our universe for stars with a mass equal to or larger than our sun. He also contributed to a lot of other works and papers that solidified his status as one of the greatest minds in physics since Albert Einstein.
Hawking was an inspiration to a lot of people, not just people passionate about science. He proved to people that no matter how hard your life is and no matter what obstacles stand in your way, there is nothing that can stop you from accomplishing what you desire. Hawking was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); a rare diseases that targets the neurons responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement, and the doctors gave him two years to live. Whether it was a gift from god or just pure and sheer willpower, he never gave-up and continued working despite his disability to eventually become one of the most prominent figures in the scientific community.
“Remember to look up at the stars. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be Curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up”. We say farewell to an amazing scientist, humanitarian, teacher and most importantly an amazing role model to all young people out there.
May you find the peace that you struggled to find in this life.