1. 122

  2. 6

    sorry to hear the news. he was a brilliant scientist and a strong human being

    1. 5

      He cheated death so often, to me it felt like he would never die.

      His vast contributions to science and philosophy will probably only really be valued properly in the coming decades.

      Rest in peace!

        1. 2

          I read ABHoT as a teenager, and went on to study Physics, despite the famed complexity of the book (“Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales. I therefore resolved not to have any equations at all. In the end, however, I did put in one equation, Einstein’s famous equation [LOL markdown]. I hope that this will not scare off half of my potential readers.”) I was fascinated by the idea that black holes could be explained and understood. There are many good communicators of science, particularly in astronomy and cosmology. There are many cutting-edge researchers. There are few who absolutely excel at both.

          While it would be nice to have a “when I met Stephen Hawking” story, the fact is the only time I encountered him is when he gave a talk in the Physics department I worked in (mentioned here, though IIRC the lecture was postponed until Feb 2006)and there was no opportunity for small talk.

          1. 1

            Sorry to hear it. Random crazy thought - it’s a shame he died after that Falcon Heavy launch, because wouldn’t it be cool if his ashes were in that Tesla, circling the solar system for ~eternity?

            1. 2

              I think it’s nicer that he was able to see the Falcon Heavy launch happen, knowing that the world is indeed making progress in space exploration.

              1. 4

                In Hawking’s lifetime, he witnessed people landing on the Moon, landing probes on Venus, multiple rovers on Mars, a probe on Titan, and visiting all the outer planets, and Pluto, and landing on a comet… It’s nice that some (but not all) missions would be a bit cheaper to launch now if launched on a Falcon Heavy, but I don’t see how a great physicist would see FH as a milestone in space exploration compared to all the above. I don’t think he’d especially yearn for his urn to be part of an elon musk PR stunt either.

            2. 1

              Random observation, but he passed a day before Einstein’s birthday (which happens to be Pi Day).

              1. 2

                He died on March 14th.

                1. 1

                  Ah, I assumed it was the 13th due to the publication date, but I didn’t account for timezones. Looks like it happened the day of Einstein’s birth date.

                  1. 2

                    Aye - early morning Cambridge, England time. :-)

                    1. 1

                      Which fortuitously right now is the same as UTC, so there’s absolutely no doubt it was Mar 14.