Hawking, Stephen William (1942–)
Stephen Hawking is an English theoretical astrophysicist and cosmologist famed almost equally
for his work on black holes and the origin
of the universe (propagated to a vast lay audience through his non-technical
books, including A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a
Nutshell) and the fact that he has survived for four decades with motor
neuron disease, an affliction with which he was diagnosed as a postgraduate
at Oxford. From 1980 to 2009 he held the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at
Cambridge University. He supplied a mathematical proof, along with Brandon
Carter, W. Israel, and D. Robinson, of John Wheeler's "No-Hair Theorem"
– namely, that any black hole is fully described by the three properties
of mass, angular momentum, and electric charge. He also showed that black
holes, especially tiny ones, can effectively evaporate as a result of the
production of particle-antiparticle pairs in their vicinity (see Hawking
radiation), and, together with Ian Moss. has derived a "no-boundary"
solution for the origin of space and time in the Big