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Famous In This Field:
Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford, England on January 8, 1942. He grew up in a highly educated family. Both of his parents had attended Oxford University and his father, Frank, was a medical researcher. Stephen enjoyed math and science in school where he earned the nickname "Einstein." He wanted to study math at university but Oxford didn't have a math degree at the time so he chose physics and chemistry instead. Stephen found college coursework to be very easy. He enjoyed being a member of the school's boat club as well as classical music. After graduation, he went to Cambridge to study for his PhD.
Stephen spent much of his academic work researching black holes and space-time theories. He wrote many important papers on the subject and became a noted expert on relativity and black holes. Perhaps his most famous theory was one that demonstrated that black holes emit some radiation. Prior to this it was thought that black holes could not get smaller because nothing could escape their enormous gravity. This radiation from black holes has become known as Hawking Radiation.
Interesting Facts about Stephen Hawking
He was born on the 300th anniversary of the death of the famous scientist Galileo. He has been married twice and has three children. Stephen has been on several TV shows including The Simpsons and the Big Bang Theory. The book A Brief History of Time only has one equation, Einstein's famous E = mc2. Hawking has co-written several children's books with his daughter Lucy including George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt and George and the Big Bang. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. He hoped to travel to space one day and trained with NASA on their zero gravity aircraft.
Words you need to know
Black hole- a region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter or radiation can escape.
Radiation- the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles which cause ionization.
Science: Further Information & Links