Thursday, March 11, 2010 , Posted by LetzWave at 2:48 PM Amazing Achievements of Prof. Stephen Hawking
Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicist, whose world-renowned scientific career spans over 40 years. His books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity and he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and in 2009 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
Stephen Hawking is severely disabled by motor neuron disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS). Hawking's illness is markedly different from typical ALS in the fact that his form of ALS would make for the most protracted case ever documented. A survival for more than 10 years after diagnosis is uncommon for ALS; the longest documented durations are 32 and 39 years and these cases were termed benign because of the lack of the typical progressive course.
When he was young, he enjoyed riding horses and playing with other children. At Oxford, he coxed a rowing team, which, he stated, helped relieve his immense boredom at the university. Symptoms of the disorder first appeared while he was enrolled at Cambridge; he lost his balance and fell down a flight of stairs, hitting his head. Worried that he would lose his genius, he took the Mensa test to verify that his intellectual abilities were intact. The diagnosis of motor neuron disease came when Hawking was 21, shortly before his first marriage, and doctors said he would not survive more than two or three years. Hawking gradually lost the use of his arms, legs, and voice, and as of 2009 has been almost completely paralyzed.
During a visit to the research centre CERN in Geneva in 1985, Hawking contracted pneumonia, which in his condition was life-threatening as it further restricted his already limited respiratory capacity. He had an emergency tracheotomy, and as a result lost what remained of his ability to speak. He has since used an electronic voice synthesizer to communicate.
Stephen Hawking (left) as a young child, with his sister Mary
Aged 12 in the garden of his St Alban's home, and at his Oxford graduation in 1962
Stephen Hawking's wedding to Jane Wilde in 1965
Stephen Hawking with his wife Jane and son Tim after receiving an honorary degree at Cambridge
The wedding of Stephen Hawking and Elaine Mason in 1995
Stephen Hawking in April 1996
Professor Stephen Hawking on an episode of The Simpsons called They Saved Lisa's Brain, which first aired in 1999
At the Centre for Mathematical Studies, Cambridge University, in October 2001
October 2004: Professor Hawking reads out the names of Iraqis who have died in the conflict
The Queen meets Professor Stephen Hawking, inside the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, Thursday May 18, 2006
Professor Hawking experiences zero-gravity on a jet 24,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean off Florida in April 2007
Professor Stephen Hawking unveils The Corpus Clock, a new installation at Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University, in September 2008