Bangalore scientists mourn as a star goes out


The world has lost the world-renowned physicist and the author of A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking, at the age of 76.

Bangalore, March 15, 2018: “I met Hawking when he visited India and earlier I had met him in Harvard too. Of course, whoever was getting into this field was inspired by him,” said Rajesh Gopakumar, director, International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS). Scientists in Bangalore mourn the death of Stephen Hawking whose passing they believe will leave a large void in the science community.

Arun Mangalam, Professor, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) said, “In the initial years, he worked on the laws of black holes and the origins of the universe. His theory about Black hole paradox was that it’s impossible for black holes to radiate and also lose information. While his theory was widely debated, his ideas and theories are always useful. People, whether or not they are working in his field are inspired by his work.”

He visited India twice in the year of 1959 and 2001. During his 2001 visit, he had a 16 – day tour and visited several places including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. While in Mumbai, Hawking addressed an international physics seminar at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).

Rajesh added, “His most important contribution was made before I met him in late 90’s. I read his first article in 1985 and it was an inspiration at that time for me. And with the difficulties he faced, he still contributed a lot to science, especially string theory. I work in the field of string theory field and his work has only inspired and helped us in discovering a lot more about black holes and the universe. When we talk about science in India, Mr. Hawking has opened the door to science for many physicists with his contributions in string theory and quantum mechanics.”

Stephen William Hawking, born on 8 January 1942, Oxford, England, was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author of several books, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology in the University of Cambridge.

Hawking was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neuron disease, in 1963 shortly after his birthday leaving him in a wheelchair. He followed the steps of his father and went to Oxford University. Months before his death he put out research papers on his theory of black holes.

Stephen Hawking has also been on several U.S. TV shows like Simpsons and Big Bang Theory. His work as a physicist will be remembered for his immense contributions to the field of physics. Hawking predicted that black holes produce radiation and was the first to set out a theory explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

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