After Stephen Hawking passed away in March, we continue to read and learn about his legacy. Stephen Hawking, as a researcher, speaker, author and advocate for many years, has been esteemed by generations of people around the world.
So, in honor of this scientific giant, we’ve compiled a list of his five greatest accomplishments. Obviously, Hawking accomplished a lot more in his lifetime, but we think the following accomplishments best sum up his impact on our world.
As the name suggests, Hawking Radiation is one of the discoveries that most reminds us of Stephen Hawking. It was a concept that emerged relatively early in his career, and scientists continued to study it throughout the following years.
Illustration of a black hole. Source: NASA
Rather than simply suggesting that all black holes are voracious “gravitational” monsters with ever-increasing mass, Hawking’s radiation explains how black holes can actually leak energy until they disappear. .
Hawking is not the only researcher who has helped us achieve a more complete understanding of black hole radiation, but his work on the subject is a hugely significant achievement.
Advocacy for the environment
One of the greatest dangers to human development is climate change, and Hawking is a strong advocate for drastic industry adjustments to combat global warming trends.
Stephen Hawking. Picture: Fortune
Of course, he also sternly warned us about the threat of artificial intelligence and the need to leave Earth. His statements caused a lot of ink to flow in the press. His support for our planet has started to gain weight since we saw the first effects of climate change.
He warned heads of state of the consequences of unchecked emissions more than a decade ago. Many positive steps have been taken, but there have also been many setbacks. In many places the governing body is dismantling environmental protections, but we still hope that the cool head will prevail over time and that we will do Hawking proud by working harder.
Disability Community Awareness
Just entering adulthood, Hawking was diagnosed with a rare form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Although his decline in motor control was slower than most and his lifespan was surprisingly long, his body eventually became completely inoperable.
Stephen Hawking poses with disabled artist Rebecca Dann. Source: The Mighty
Despite his worsening condition, he continued his research for decades using advanced technology and healthcare. Even without the ability to speak or move his limbs, his voice-generating equipment and specialized motion trackers allow him to continue communicating with people.
Hawking’s success is an inspiration to us all and a powerful reminder of what human beings can achieve, even in the face of severe adversity. Not only people with disabilities deserve it receive respect and compassion, which we must also pay attention to, never separating anyone simply because of preconceived ideas about what they can do.
Another important aspect of Hawking’s legacy is his attempt to understand the mystery behind the dense central region of a black hole. Inside this, it is hypothesized that we might find a gravitational singularity where the density is infinitely large.
Hawking in a conference. Source: Student Flowers
Along with physicist Roger Penrose, Hawking and his work give us a way to think about black holes – and even the nature of the Big Bang. While the origin of the universe is still hotly debated and quantum details become very intricate, the universal understanding of all the problems in the universe are concentrated in one point is due in part to the considerable work of Hawking.
Disseminate science to as many people as possible
In history, few scientists have approached the masses like Hawking. With a favorite book history of time, he brought cosmology and basic scientific principles to generations of readers.
A brief history of Stephen Hawking’s time. Source: NBC News
All over the world, people like Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson or Stephen Hawking have the ability to take real studies and turn them into inspiration for children and adults. Personally, I knew next to nothing about the terrifying magnificence of the universe until I first encountered the series. Universe by Carl Sagan. Hawking had an unparalleled impact, with his books, speeches and television appearances.
Beyond stimulating actual science, his research and outreach have fueled the imaginations of countless science fiction writers. Our shelves are filled with books that Stephen Hawking has influenced in some way – big or small. In turn, the stories it contains will excite scientists and writers of the future.