Tributes paid to Professor Stephen Hawking after acclaimed physicist dies aged 76

 
Rebecca Smith
Hawking was world renowned for his work
Hawking was world renowned for his work (Source: Getty)

Tributes have been pouring in for renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking after it was announced in the early hours of this morning that he had died aged 76.

His family said he died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, where Hawking had been a fellow at Gonville and Caius College. The college flag is flying at half mast today in tribute to Hawking, while a book of condolence will be opened for "all who wish to pay tribute".

Hawing was diagnosed with ALS, a form of motor neurone disease, in his twenties and relied on a computerised voice system for communication.

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He went on to become an internationally respected physicist; the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. His work on black holes is also renowned, showing that they emit radiation - known today as Hawking radiation.

His three children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said he was "an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years".

Hawking had 13 honorary degrees and was a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Tributes

Prime Minister Theresa May said Hawking's legacy will not be forgotten.

Google boss Sundar Pichai meanwhile, said the world had lost "a beautiful mind".

Cambridge University posted a video tribute:

Professor Stephen Toope, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said:

Professor Hawking was a unique individual who will be remembered with warmth and affection not only in Cambridge but all over the world. His exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and the popularisation of science and mathematics have left an indelible legacy. His character was an inspiration to millions. He will be much missed.

Caius meanwhile, paid tribute in an online post:

Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi said Hawking was "an outstanding scientist and academic", and his work made the world "a better place".

US TV scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson said Hawking's death had "left an intellectual vacuum" in its wake.

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