Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist

Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist

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Credit: DEBBY BESFORD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Stephen Hawking. English theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking (born 1942). Hawking completed his doctorate on relativity theory at Cambridge University and remained there to become Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. Hawking's research on general relativity was directed at the anomalies of gravity, such as black holes and the "big bang" (occurrence of space-time singularity). In 1974, Hawking proposed that black holes can emit thermal radiation, suggesting an analogy between black hole mechanics and thermodynamics. Throughout his adult life, Hawking has endured a disabling neuromotor disease that has limited his movement and speech. Photographed in 1995.

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