The world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76 on Tuesday.
To honor his memory and his contributions to the scientific community, here are some of his greatest achievements.
1. Black Holes
Hawking discovered that black holes do not actually trap everything inside of them; instead, they also emit some radiation and particles. According to WOGX, this concept became known as “Hawking radiation.”
He used quantum physics and general relativity during his career to look more in depth at black holes and used his research as a theory for how the world was first created.
According to Learnodo Newtonic, Hawking worked with James Bardeen and Brandon Carter to discover the four laws of black hole mechanics. These laws are physical properties that black holes are believed to satisfy and are analogous to the laws of thermodynamics.
He wrote an essay titled “Black Holes” that won the prestigious Gravity Research Foundation Award.
2. Published Books
He wrote a book, titled “A Brief History of Time,” in 1988, which sold over 10 million copies. Hawking took complicated subjects and made them easier to understand in his book. He also co-wrote 11 other books for the general public.
According to Erin Vanderhoof from Vanity Fair, Hawking worked with agent Al Zuckerman to get his book published and made easily accessible to the public.
In 1984, the book was sold to Bantam Books, which had a publisher that allowed Hawking’s book to get published to the masses. It has since become one of the best-selling books of all time.
Hawking received dozens of awards during his time.
According to the Stephen Hawking website, Hawking received the Pius XI gold medal for science in 1975. It was given to him by Pope Paul VI, the first of four popes to meet Hawking.
The medal was given to him after a unanimous vote by the academy in recognition of his greatest work. In 1978 he was awarded the Albert Einstein medal.
He also received the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II, officially making him Sir Stephen Hawking.
In 2009, former President Barack Obama gave the renowned physicist the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Despite Hawking being a British citizen and the award’s stipulation that its recipient must be American, many considered Hawking to be the preeminent mind of his generation, and were happy to overlook the nationality condition.