Stephen Hawking pursued the notion that black holes were not simply universal ‘vacuum cleaners’, but that they were also capable of creation. Following intense study and mathematical calculation, a theory was borne, that of Hawking Radiation, which allows for black holes to create matter from energy – two oppositely charged particles.

Thus, Hawking changed the world of astrophysics. But he has done much more.

He has defied medical science, and continues to provide theories to explain our universe, working through an awful disease in order to inspire, educate, and enlighten us with his unequivocal understanding of the universe that is around us. And he does it all with a great sense of humor...

Hawking participated in Monty Python's 2014 live reunion shows, appearing in a filmed segment in which he knocks down fellow physicist Brian Cox and recites the lyrics of the “Galaxy Song” as he launches into space. You can purchase your own version from the iTunes store.

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at 900 miles an hour
That's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned
A sun that is the source of all our power

A friendly reminder not to take life too seriously...

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