Physicist Stephen Hawking, passes away at 76 : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Physicist Stephen Hawking, passes away at 76 : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Stephen Hawking was a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Science and he is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

About Stephen Hawking

  • Hawking contracted motor neurone disease in 1963 and was then told he had just two years.

  • From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663.

Awards and Honours received by Stephen Hawking

  • Professor Hawking has been awarded over a dozen honorary degrees including the CBE – Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – in 1982.

  • He was awarded with Adams Prize, Einstein Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Eddington Medal, Maxwell Medal, Heineman Prize, Hughes Medal, RAS Gold Medal, Dirac Medal, Wolf Prize, Prince of Asturias, Gemant Award, Naylor Prize and Fundamental Physics Prize.

Contributions of Stephen Hawking

  • He predicted theoretically that black holes emit radiation, this is often called Hawking radiation. 

  • For the first time in the world Hawking showed how quantum fluctuations (i.e. minuscule variations in the distribution of matter), might give rise to the spread of galaxies in the universe. 

  •  In 1983 together with Jim Hartle at Chicago University, he proposed a "wave function of the universe" that, in theory, could be used to calculate the properties of the universe we see around us.

  • Existence of millions of Mini Black Holes formed by the force of the original Big Bang explosion.

  • He also answered the famous unified field theory, which was one of the Einstein’s unanswered theories.

  • Hawking was also the subject of the 2014 film ‘The Theory of Everything’, which starred Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and it was based on Prof. Hawking's ex-wife Jane Hawking's memoir 'Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen'.

  • The movie depicted the story of the scientist extraordinaire whose mind maps the universe while his body remains immobile in a wheelchair.

Books authored by him

MODEL QUESTIONS

Q.Which of the following is not correct regarding motor neurone disease?

A. Motor neurone disease (MND) describes a group of diseases.

B. MND affect the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord that tell your muscles what to do. 

C. In MND, messages from Motor Neurones gradually stop reaching the muscles, leading them to weaken, stiffen and waste.

D. MND does not affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. 

Answer-D

Q. What are various contributions of Dr. Stephen Hawking in the field of Science and Technology?

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