Born in 1942 on the day of Gallilee’s death and died 76 years later on the day of Einstein’s birth, Stephen Hawking spent his life trying to unify the work of his illustrious physicist ancestors and in particular the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics into a single unified physical theory, the holy grail of all physicists , even today (currently, two theories are in confrontation: the theory of strings and that of loops), and on which Einstein himself had clashed his life without accepting the probabilistic and non-deterministic aspect observed in the infinitely small (“God does not play dice”).
In the mid-1960s, as he continued his studies as a physicist for his doctorate, Hawking demonstrated that Einstein’s theory of general relativity implied that space and time had a beginning, the Big Bang, and an end, black holes.
These findings led him to discover as early as 1963 that black holes would not be that black, but that they would be able to emit radiation, since then called hawking radiation, his greatest discovery.
Hawking’s radiation corresponds to black body radiation (at the beginning of the 20th century, the study of the thermal radiation of a black body was at the origin of Max Planck’s quanta theory, the foundation of quantum physics).
This Hawking radiation is emitted in all directions and leads to two conclusions:
- on the one hand, this radiation reverses the very definition of the black hole since, in this case, it releases particles into space;
- on the other hand, this phenomenon leads to its quantum evaporation and its disappearance in an intense flash of pure energy.
Big Bang, expansion, multiverse, wormholes, infinite universes, singularities, eternal inflation, negative gravitation, arrow of time, Stephen Hawking’s mind has abounded in every direction to advance our knowledge and even if most of his work has not yet been proven by observation, the poetry that emerges from it is also infinite.
“The usual theory of eternal inflation predicts that overall, our universe is like an infinite with a mosaic of different pockets-universe separated by an inflationary ocean,” explained Stephen Hawking.
What could be more poetic?
His ashes were buried on June 15, 2018 in Westminster Abbey, and lie alongside The grave of Isaac Newton.
A six-minute sound recording including the scientist’s voice accompanied by a composition by the musician Vangelis was also sent on the same day to 1A 0620-00 (an intense source of X-rays located in the constellation of the Unicorn), using a satellite dish from ESA, the European Space Agency.
It is this recording that you can listen below: