According to Euronews, the British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge, Stephen Hawking, who dedicated his life to explaining some of the most complex questions about life and the universe, has died at age 76.
“Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, UK, in the early hours of Wednesday March 14”, said a family spokesman.
“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” his children Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement.
Hawking’s work ranged from the origins of the universe itself to the mysteries of black holes in space and relativity. One of his popular science books, ‘A Brief History of Time’, stayed on the Sunday Times best-sellers list for no fewer than 237 weeks. The sub-molecular world of quantum theory can predict what happens at the beginning and end of time, he once said.
“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years,” his family said. “His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world.”
Hawking was confined most of his life to a wheelchair as his body was ravaged by the wasting motor neurone disease he contracted at age 21. As his physical worsened, he had to resort to speaking through a voice synthesizer and communicating through small gestures.