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Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies at Age 76

Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies at Age 76

India's Prime Minister Narenda Modhi said Hawking's "grit and tenacity" inspired generations of people throughout the world. "He once said, aIt would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him for ever", the statement added.

Even though his body was attacked by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, when Hawking was 21, he stunned doctors by living with the normally fatal illness for more than 50 years. As his condition worsened, he had to resort to speaking through a voice synthesiser and communicating by moving his eyebrows.

Hawking's doctors gave him almost two years to live but he defied the medical history and survived for decades. His books, particularly A Brief History of Time, became blockbuster successes.

In later years, though, he suggested a unified theory might not exist. But it was A Brief History of Time that rocketed Hawking to stardom. In 1982, Hawking was among the first to show how quantum fluctuations - tiny variations in the distribution of matter - might give rise through inflation to the spread of galaxies in the universe.

The combination of his best-selling book and his nearly total disability - for a while he could use a few fingers, later he could only tighten the muscles on his face - made him one of science's most recognizable faces. His life has been tackled in the film "The Theory of Everything" in which Eddie Redmaynne portrayed him.

"Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many", Hawking said in 2016, at the opening of a new AI research centre at Cambridge University.

"He was the definition of mind over matter", Plait said.

Stephen Hawking, who sought to explain some of the most complicated questions of life while himself working under the shadow of a likely premature death, has died at 76. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet.

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"I hope he has the strength to send us information from the next world". His great discoveries and work include Hawking radiation, Penrose-Hawking theorems, and many more. "It really was quite revolutionary".

- "Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays": This best-selling 1994 collection includes a mix of personal and scientific essays. "Asking what happens before the Big Bang is like asking for a point one mile north of the North Pole", he said. Black holes were not truly black. Instead, he said he believed objects could be spit out of black holes in a mangled form. He was also wonderfully amusing with a fantastic media savviness that propelled him into A-list celebrity stardom as few other scientists before. After completing his schooling, he went to Oxford University for his undergraduate and later did a Ph.D.at Cambridge.

Hawking had to cope with neurodegenerative disease since graduate school, and has been confined to a wheelchair for decades. The disease usually kills within three to five years.

In 2007, he became the first quadriplegic to experience weightlessness on board the so-called "vomit comet", a modified plane specially created to simulate zero gravity. But as it became apparent that he was not going to die soon, his spirits recovered and he bore down on his work.

Hawking is survived by three children - Robert, Lucy and Timothy - from his first marriage to Jane Wilde, and three grandchildren.

His base of operations was Cambridge University in Britain, but he traveled widely around the world.

Hawking was married twice. Hawking and Mason separated in 2006. "I fell over and had great difficulty getting up", he told the audience. "I think they understood most of it". "I seemed to be getting worse very rapidly".