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Stephen William Hawking is an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, whose scientific books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity.
Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 (300 years after the death of Galileo) in Oxford, England. His parents' house was in north London, but during the Second World War Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. When he was eight, his family moved to St Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At 11 Stephen went to St Albans School, and when he was 17 he went on to University College, Oxford, his father's old college. Stephen wanted to do Mathematics, although his father would have preferred medicine. Mathematics was not available at University College, so he did Physics instead. After three years and not very much work he was awarded a first class honours degree in Natural Science.
Stephen then went on to Cambridge to do research in Cosmology, there was no-one working in that area in Oxford at the time. His supervisor was Denis Sciama, although he had hoped to get Fred Hoyle who was working in Cambridge. After gaining his Ph.D. he became first a Research Fellow, and later on a Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. After leaving the Institute of Astronomy in 1973 Stephen came to the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, and from 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics for 30 years. The chair was founded in 1663 with money left in the will of the Honorable Henry Lucas, who had been the Member of Parliament for the University. It was first held by Isaac Barrow, and then in 1669 by Isaac Newton.
Stephen Hawking has worked on the basic laws which govern the universe. He showed that Einstein's General Theory of Relativity implied space and time would have a beginning in the...