Stephen Hawking's science lives on after his death

The Latest CERN scientists hail Hawking’s impact

As a teenager he had enjoyed horse-riding and rowing but while at Cambridge he was diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease which was to leave him nearly completely paralysed.

"Despite my disability, I have managed to do most things I want", Hawking said.

Tributes poured on social media as scientists and celebrities hailed a man who had brought complex science to the masses with his best-seller "A Brief History of Time".

Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, wrote on Twitter: "His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake".

Others to pay tribute include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.

The combination of his best-selling book and his nearly total disability - for a while he could use a few fingers, later he could only tighten the muscles on his face - made him one of science's most recognizable faces.

There have been reactions too from the world of Astronomy in Australia. Hawking shocked the physics world when he calculated that this surface should slowly emit radiation (soon to become known as Hawking radiation). The professor was physically located at Cambridge University in England.

The best-known theoretical physicist of his time, Hawking wrote so lucidly of the mysteries of space, time and black holes that his book, "A Brief History of Time", became an worldwide best seller, making him one of science's biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein. The discovery led to a series of further innovations, including the proposal that black holes radiate heat.

Considered by many to be the world's greatest living scientist, Hawking was also a cosmologist, astronomer, mathematician and author of numerous books including the landmark "A Brief History of Time", which has sold more than 10 million copies.

Through it all, of course, his illness made his achievements near-superhuman.

While he was unable to attend the ceremony, Professor Hawking posted a touching message on Facebook to say: "Well done Eddie, I'm very proud of you". Even more shocking to researchers was the fact that Hawking radiation should erase information from the Universe, in apparent contradiction to some of the basic tenets of quantum theory, as Hawking pointed out in 1976. "At first I became depressed". It was wonderful how widely read and discussed it was, particularly given its content (stuff that is usually portrayed as being really hard and/or boring). The official handle tweeted, "In loving memory of Stephen Hawking".

Solved the Black Hole paradox after arguing for nearly 30 years that black holes destroy everything that falls into it.

"Stephen Hawking fought and tamed the cosmos bravely for 76 years and taught us all something importantabout what it truly means to celebrate about being human". This is the true strength of his legacy.

Hawking spent most of his adult like in a motorized scooter. Instead, he said he believed objects could be spit out of black holes in a mangled form.

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