The man who had the dream of uniting the world through space travel has died at the age of 76. Hawking passed away at his Cambridge home in the UK according to the BBC. At the age of 22, Hawking was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease that gave him only two years to live. He survived for many decades to become one of the greatest minds to walk the Earth. His work with black holes resulted in the discovery of a new form of radiation, which bears his name, and more knowledge of the event horizon than previously understood. He was also the first scientist to join the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

Hawking's greatest triumphs

Hawking began his college career at the age of 17 at Oxford where he found classes "ridiculously easy" and, subsequently, found himself bored.

During his graduate years, Hawking was diagnosed with motor neuron disease which caused him to fall into a depression in an already frustrating graduate career. When it was clear that the initial prognosis of two years was incorrect and his disease was progressing much slower, Hawking returned to work. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • In his breadth of work Hawking was one of three people to discover the four laws of black hole mechanics. For this achievement, he won the Gravity Research Foundation Award.
  • He offered contributions to the cosmic inflation theory. He was among the first to calculate the quantum fluctuation which might give rise to galaxies
  • He developed the theory of Hawking radiation, emitted by black holes
  • He, along with Thomas Hertog, proposed the theory of top-down cosmology of superimposition for the universe's initial state, rather than one single state that gave rise to many
  • He had continued, history-alternating work on singularities which contribute to the study of black holes and perhaps will one day help us understand the future of the universe

The world reacts

Stephen Hawking passed away in the early hours of March 14, colloquially known as "Pi Day" for math lovers.

The late hours didn't stop the world from reacting to the loss of the most brilliant mind since Einstein.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

NASA

The Big Bang Theory

Legacy

While Dr. Hawking may be gone, his legacy lives on to help us fill the "intellectual vacuum" he leaves behind.

He helped to demystify the mysteries of the world we exist in and never stopped trying to understand the universe. He insisted we look to the sky for our future. When thinking of all the things Hawking was and could have been, always remember: "Look at the stars, not at your feet."

Rest in peace, Dr. Hawking. We'll do our best to take it from here.