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Stephen Hawking: A Journey Among The Stars

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Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist. He was an inspiration to many for his work and perseverance.

He faced many challenges in life but despite everything, he proved to the world that knowledge is the most important and he never lost hope. He proposed various theories on gravitation, cosmology, quantum theory, etc. Hawking radiation was one of his most famous theories.

Stephen Hawking was one of the worlds leading theoretical physicists.

In this, he presented a prediction that black holes emit radiation and termed it as Hawking radiation. He also proofed that black hole varied in sizes and it depends upon the radiation of energy.

His Early Years

Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford. His mother Isobel Eileen Hawking was born in a family of doctors in Scotland and was a medical research secretary. His father, Frank Hawking was a research biologist. He mostly spent his childhood in Highgate, London, and then in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Since his childhood, he was interested in mathematics and physics. When Stephen started his schooling in 1959, he wasn’t an excellent student neither at St.Alban nor at Oxford university. He used to hardly do his homework. But he used to solve mathematics and physics problems very quickly.

In October 1959, when he was 17 he received a first-class BA degree in physics. Earlier, he used to not enjoy school a lot. But in Oxford, he became passionate about physics and graduated with first-class rewards in physics in 1962. Soon after he began his postgraduate at Cambridge University. His graduate education began and gradually he became focused and developed an interest in cosmology. His father wanted him to focus on medicine.

In late 1962, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with motor neuron disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease (it is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves and leads to weakness and deteriorates the body as time passes. There is no cure for this disease). Due to this disease, he was expected to live for just two years.

But he didn’t give up and completed his Ph.D. in mathematics and theoretical physics. As the disease spread. Hawking started using a wheelchair.

In March 1966 he specialized in cosmology. In 1985, there was an emergency tracheotomy (it is a cut in the windpipe made to relieve an obstruction in breathing) which caused him a total loss of speech. A speech-generating device was contracted at Cambridge, which had a software program additionally combined and by which he was able to take out electronic voice by selecting the specific words by moving the muscles of cheek.

He was married to Jane Wild in 1965. They both had three children. But due to some differences, they divorced in 1995 and Hawking remarried in the same year.

His Famous Theories

In 1971, Stephen Hawking proposed the area theorem according to which there is a set of series of fundamental insights about black holes that event horizon can never decrease. The theorem predicts that the total area of the black hole’s event horizon and all black holes in the universe should never decrease.

He proposed various theorems like:

1. He presented a prediction that black holes emit radiation termed as Hawing radiation and he also gave proof that black holes varied in size according to the radiation of energy.

2. He also states that once a star dies, its entire mass collapses into infinite density at a single point which leads to the formation of black holes.

3. He also puts forward a theory that before the big bang time didn’t exist, which leads to the question about occurrences before the big bang.

4. Stephen Hawing along with Brandon Carter and James Bardeen discovered the laws of the mechanics of black holes. The first law is termed as Hawing area, the black holes get smaller in size in terms of total surface area.

5. In 2006, he presented a theory that the universe consists of several initial conditions rather than having one unique initial state.

His Honors

In 1974, the Royal Society elected him and he was one of the youngest. He became a professor of gravitation physics at Cambridge in 1977 and 1979, he was appointed as Cambridge’s Lucasian professorship of mathematics, a post once held by Isaac Newton. He received the Copley Medal from the Royal Society in 2006. The US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

Apart from this he won many awards like in 1966 he won Adams prize, in 1975 Eddington Medal, 1976 Heineman prize and Hughes Medal, 1978 Albert Einstein Award, 1979 Albert Einstein Medal, 1985 RAS Gold Medal, etc.

In 2008, he has accepted as a visiting research chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo.

Stephen Hawking died on 14 March 2018, at the age of 76 in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

He was a great person and physicist and contributed various theories and he is still remembered for this work.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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