What makes this man different from the thousands of other scientific geniuses? Why is his work so valued? In order to answer these questions we will have to look into what fellow scientists and friends have to say about him. We will look at his most important contributions according to other experts.
Stephen W. Hawking Stephen W. Hawking has a mind set that is beyond today's general way thinking. His attempts to identify a grand unification theory that unites everything we know about the physical world and science far exceeds any realm of thinking that has ever graced this earth. Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford, England. He spent most of his childhood in and around London, and was always a bit of a self-educator. He was interested in the stars, and his family used to lie out on the grass looking at the stars. His writing was appalling, and he was one of the only people at school to be issued with a copybook.
He was never really good with his hands, and gave the impression of nervousness, being lanky and awkward in movement. (Evans, p.127) Stephen Hawking wanted to study mathematics and physics in a university, but his father believed that there would not be any jobs in mathematics and thus Hawking took physics and chemistry, and only a bit of math. Another reason he didn't do mathematics is because when he attended University College, Oxford in 1959 they didn't do mathematics. Hawking's peers didn't really realize how intelligent he was until his second year of University.
They were assigned 13 honors questions in the area of Electricity and Magnetism, and while it took his friends Derek, Gordon and Richard a week to do 2 1/2 of them, Hawking did the first 10 in 3 hours. "Because he didn't have time to finish the rest" (Hawking, ln. 71) was his reason for not completing all 13. He was a coxswain in the Boat Club, and was of course a member of the Boyle Society (the University College's physics society).
At one point during his time at the University, when Hawking fell down a flight of stairs, he totally f! orgot who he was for a few minutes, but eventually he remembered who he was, where he was, and what he did last week, last month, and last year. It took 2 hours for him to remember actually falling down the stairs. Shortly after this he took a Mensa test to see if he was still bright or not and got 200 or 250: so there was no permanent damage. In his 3rd year he began to notice that his hands were less useful than before.
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