Hawking, Stephen


British cosmologist and theoretical physicist, born in Oxford (1942-). His most important contributions to science have been his study of quantum gravity and black holes. He also authored the extremely popular A Brief History of Time, which spent 237 weeks on the British Sunday Times best-seller list. Hawking suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative motor neural disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which was diagnosed during his graduate studies. He is confined to a wheelchair and speaks through a voice-box. As part of an ongoing effort to popularize science and space-travel, Hawking went on a sub-orbital flight, during which he became the first quadriplegic to experience antigravity.

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