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".
The College flag is flying at half mast today in tribute to Professor #Hawking. A book of condolence will be opened in the Porters’ Lodge for all who wish to pay tribute. The College sends its condolences to Professor Hawking’s family.— Gonville & Caius (@CaiusCollege) March 14, 2018
Hawing was diagnosed with ALS, a form of motor neurone disease, in his twenties and relied on a computerised voice system for communication.
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.
Prime Minister Theresa May said Hawking's legacy will not be forgotten.
Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and extraordinary mind - one of the great scientists of his generation. His courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) March 14, 2018
Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014 pic.twitter.com/FeR4fd2zZ5— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2018
Google boss Sundar Pichai meanwhile, said the world had lost "a beautiful mind".
The world has lost a beautiful mind and a brilliant scientist. RIP Stephen Hawking— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) March 14, 2018
Cambridge University posted a video tribute:
Professor Stephen Hawking 1942-2018 - a video tribute https://t.co/DzwjZII2RL— Cambridge University (@Cambridge_Uni) March 14, 2018
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".
Professor Stephen Hawking was an outstanding scientist and academic. His grit and tenacity inspired people all over the world. His demise is anguishing. Professor Hawking’s pioneering work made our world a better place. May his soul rest in peace.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 14, 2018
US TV scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson said Hawking's death had "left an intellectual vacuum" in its wake.
His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it's not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure. Stephen Hawking, RIP 1942-2018. pic.twitter.com/nAanMySqkt— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) March 14, 2018