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Stephen Hawking Death Anniversary: Books and Quotes by the Famed Theoretical Physicist

Stephen Hawking, the legendary theoretical physicist and cosmologist, breathed his last on March 14, 2018. Here are his most memorable books and quotes.

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Updated:March 14, 2020, 1:13 PM IST
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British cosmologist Stephen Hawking.

"Quiet people have the loudest minds” -- Stephen Hawking

The man behind such popular books as A Brief History of Time and Brief Answers to the Big Questions, Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist who breathed his last on March 14, 2018.

In 1963, Hawking was diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease. The illness slowly made him lose his ability to function over the years and he lost his speech as well, only being able to communicate through a speech-generating device.

However, that did not deter him from making his impact in the world of science and popular science through his many works.

A Brief History of Time: A book on the origin and evolution of the universe, it was first published in 1988. The book serves as a guide to people who have no knowledge of the universe. Written in non-technical terms, the book traces the structure, origin, development and fate of the Universe. Hawking also talks about cosmological phenomena such as Big Bang and black holes.

On the Shoulders of Giants: The 2002 book is a compilation of scientific texts edited with commentary by Stephen Hawking. The book has sections dedicated to works by Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler.

The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: The book The Dreams That Stuff Is Made of: The Most Astounding Papers of Quantum Physics and How They Shook the Scientific World was published in 2011 where Hawking compiles essential works from scientists that changed how physics is perceived. The book includes works by Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrodinger, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, and Max Born.

My Brief History: The memoir by Hawking was published in 2013 and chronicles his journey from post-war London boyhood to his ultimate international acclaim and celebrity status.

Brief Answers to the Big Questions: The book explores some of the greatest mysteries of the universe and promotes science's validity in helping solve Earth's problems. The foreword to the book was written by Eddie Redmayne, who had portrayed the author in the 2014 film The Theory of Everything.

In 2006, Hawking took to the internet to pose a question, "In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?" He would later state, "I don't know the answer. That is why I asked the question, to get people to think about it, and to be aware of the dangers we now face."

However, these thought provoking words are not the only ones he is attributed with:

• We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.

• Life would be tragic if it weren't funny.

• Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

• The universe doesn't allow perfection.

• My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.

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