Stephen Hawking, British physicist

Stephen Hawking, British physicist

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Stephen Hawking, (born 1942) British theoretical physicist, with Peter Diamandis, founder of Zero Gravity Corporation, at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA, 26 April 2007. Hawking has just completed a freefall flight on board a modified Boeing 727 jet (in background) owned by the Zero Gravity Corporation. The jet completes a series of steep ascents and dives that create short periods of weighlessness due to freefall. During his flight Hawking experienced 8 such periods. In 1963 Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neurone disease, which has left him wheelchair-bound. Hawking is best known for his work on cosmology and black holes, and writing the popular science book A Brief History of Time (1988).

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