Great Minds: Stephen Hawking - The Grand Design Of The Universe





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Uploaded on Sep 12, 2010

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Stephen Hawking is a British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, whose scientific career spans over forty years. His books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity and he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and in 2009 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for thirty years, taking up the post in 1979 and retiring on 1 October 2009. He is also a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and a Distinguished Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. He is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes. He has also achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; these include the runaway best seller A Brief History of Time, which stayed on the British Sunday Times bestsellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.

Stephen Hawking's key scientific works to date have included providing, with Roger Penrose, theorems regarding gravitational singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, which is today known as Hawking radiation (or sometimes as Bekenstein--Hawking radiation).

Hawking has a neuro-muscular dystrophy that is related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition that has progressed over the years and has left him almost completely paralysed.

Stephen Hawking has repeatedly used the word "God" (in metaphorical meanings) to illustrate points made in his books and public speeches. His ex-wife, Jane said during their divorce proceedings that he was an atheist. Hawking has stated that he is "not religious in the normal sense" and he believes that "the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws." Hawking compared religion and science in 2010, saying: "There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."

On September 2010, The Telegraph reported, "Stephen Hawking has declared that his latest work shows there was no creator of the universe" and that the new m-theory "accounts for the birth of the universe...and replaces the need for religious accounts in Hawking's mind." Hawking wrote in his new book "The Grand Design" that "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."


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