One of the most celebrated scientists, Stephen Hawking, not only grappled with the big questions of the universe, but he also tried to communicate the achievements of science to young curious minds. Three years after his death in 2018, the Science Museum Group and Cambridge University Library have acquired Hawking’s office, the museum informed in a blog post on May 26.
The late scientist’s belongings, which include his personalised wheelchair, bets signed by his thumbprints and his scripts from the famous sitcom The Simpsons, will be preserved at the Science Museum in London and some key highlights will be put on display next year. The museum will photograph and publish Hawking’s items later next year in its online collection for global audiences.
However, Hawking’s vast personal archive of seminal scientific and personal papers will be kept by the University of Cambridge at the university library. At the time of his death, Hawking was the director of research at the university’s Centre for Theoretical Cosmology. Born in 1942, Hawking had many titles to his name. He was not only a brilliant theoretical physicist who discovered the radiation emitted by black holes - now known as Hawking radiation - but also wrote ‘The Brief History of Time,’ one of the seminal books that popularised science among masses. The brilliant suffered from a disease that paralysed him forcing him to be in a wheelchair and communicate using a speech-generating device.
Hawking was the first to develop a theory combining quantum mechanics -physics at smallest scales - and the general theory of relativity — physics at large scales. Using this combination, he sought out to explain everything we know about the universe. However, he later gave up upon concluding a theory of everything was not obtainable. A scientist who captured popular imagination Hawking used to say, “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.” In 2014, a film that was nominated for Oscars and was made on his life was titled -The Theory of Everything.