Millions mourn the loss of a giant who has changed mankind’s view of the cosmos, Europe News & Top Stories
LONDON • Scientists, celebrities and millions around the world paid tribute to the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who died yesterday at the age of 76.
Although he was in a wheelchair for most of his life, he looked at the stars and changed the way people see the universe with his scientific discoveries about black holes and the origins of the universe.
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: “Few have done more to expand our knowledge of the universe and to create confidence in human willpower and the ability to face physical challenges. Stephen Hawking gets well beyond his brief Living on time in history. “
Professor Hawking’s 1988 bestseller, A Brief History of Time, sold more than 10 million copies.
Astronaut Tim Peake, a British, said that Prof. Hawking “inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe”.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Prof. Hawking’s theories opened up a universe of possibilities that they and the world were still exploring.
“May you keep flying like a superman in zero gravity, as you said to astronauts on the space station in 2014,” he added on Twitter.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said he was one of the great scientists of his generation, paying tribute to his “brilliant and extraordinary spirit” in a tweet.
“His courage, humor and determination to get the best out of life have been an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten,” she added.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “You have changed the way we see the universe.”
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, tweeted, “We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit.
Actor Eddie Redmayne, who played Prof. Hawking in the 2014 biography The Theory Of Everything, said, “We lost a really beautiful mind, an amazing scientist, and the funniest man I’ve ever met.”
In China, millions mourned “the fall of a giant star” and said goodbye to a man who was admired for stoically rising above his physical disability and sending heartfelt messages to his Chinese fans on social media.
The British cosmologist, already known in China, made himself popular with fans in the country two years ago when he opened an account on the Twitter-like Weibo platform, which was published in both Chinese and English, Xinhua reported.
The account reached a million fans in the first few hours and now has nearly five million, with its rare posts typically generating tens of thousands of admiring comments.
On Weibo, the hashtag #Hawking passed # generated more than 300 million readings and nearly 200,000 comments within hours of his death being announced.
Prof. Hawking had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a form of motor neuron disease. One user said, “The deterioration in his body didn’t catch him. Today this superhuman brain has left this world and his next journey, death, remains a mystery.”
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wrote on Facebook: “Within his limits, Stephen Hawking has opened the universe for us all with his scientific findings. He inspires me to lead a life without excuses – and that is my theory of everything.” “