I chose Stephen Hawking to write about for my case study because I have always found him extremely interesting. As a fellow atheist he has come pretty outstanding scientific theories on how our universe came about, none of which are attributed to some fictitious being. I am also inspired with the amount that Hawking has done so far in his lifetime. All this has been done in spite of, or because of, having ALS. As a medical professional I am in awe of the things that he has accomplished.
Stephen William Hawking, born in 1942 is the eldest of Frank and Isobel Hawking’s three children. Mary was born in 1943, Philippa was born in 1947, and Edward was adopted in 1956. As a newborn Stephen first lived in Northern London. Hawking’s parents where themselves quite accomplished, Stephen’s father was a respected medical researcher in the specialty of tropical diseases, while his mother was one of Oxford’s first female students. When he was just two weeks old Stephen was almost killed when a V2 rocket damaged the Hawking’s home while they were away. This is when the Hawking’s moved to Oxford in order to avoid the attacks by the Luftwaffe (the aerial warfare branch of the German Armed Forces) and to provide a safer environment to raise their growing family. In 1950, when Stephen was eight years old he and his family moved to St Albans in Hertfordshire. As a child Stephen was awkward and small for his age. His teachers thought he was bright but he did not stand out as being very far above his classmates in elementary school. At one point in school he was third from the bottom of his class. He did enjoy creating games with his friends. They would come together at the family home on weekends and holidays to play. Stephen would create many of the rules and the games would often be so complex that one turn could take an entire afternoon.
At the local public high school, the gauche, lisping Hawking was persecuted as a swot, which is a person that devotes themselves solely to their studies and avoids social diversions. He avoided team sports and pop music for a world of jazz, classical music, and debating. I think that these tendencies point toward him being an introvert.
Stephen had always shown an interest in science. After graduating from high school he enrolled himself at Oxford. There was no mathematics offered at the time, so Hawking chose Physics as his major. During his time at Oxford Stephen also showed great interest in Thermodynamics, relativity and quantum mechanics. He received his B.A. degree from Oxford University, in 1962, after which he enrolled for studying astronomy. Stephen met his wife Jane Wilde, a languages undergraduate at a New Year's party in 1963, while studying at Cambridge, they were married in 1965. He was named a fellow of the Royal Society at the age of 32, and later earned the prestigious Albert Einstein Award. In 1975 he traveled to Rome, where he was honored with the Pius XI Gold Medal for Science from Pope Paul VI. In the 1980s Hawking answered one of Einstein's unanswered theories, the famous unified field theory. Hawking published his first book, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time in 1975, rocked the physics community by examining and expanding on Einstein’s General theory of relativity, and the general structure of space and time. In 1988 Hawking, published A Brief History of Time. A short, informative book, that became an account of cosmology for the masses. Spending more than four years atop the London Sunday Times' best-seller list, it has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 40 languages since its publication. In September 2010, Hawking spoke against the idea that God could have created the universe, stating, "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." Along with his brilliance,...
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