Stephen Hawking was a mediocre student but an excellent oarsman: Here are some fascinating facts about the physicist | India News

NEW DELHI: Renowned British physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking died today at the age of 76. The eminent physicist was known for his work with black holes and relativity. He wrote many popular books, including “A Brief History of Time”. The book became a bestseller with over 10 million copies sold in 20 years. It has been translated in at least three dozen languages.

Here is a look at some of the interesting facts related to his life.

* Hawking was not able to read properly until he was eight and his grades were among the worst in the class.

* Despite his average performance in school, Hawking cleared the Oxford entrance exam to score a scholarship to study physics at the age of 17.

* He was born on January 8, 1942, which coincides with the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death.

* He has written a children’s book named “George’s Secret Key to the Universe”.

* Before his illness, he was one of the most important members of Oxford Rowing Team. His dedication and perfection made his teammates call him “the adventurous type”.

* In 2007, he took a zero-gravity flight using a service provided by Zero Gravity Corp. Hawking believed that in future our planet may not be able to sustain human life and hence, humans would need to travel in zero-gravity environments, to colonize other planets and satellites.

* Hawking has made several appearances on television. An animated version of him made an appearance on “The Simpsons” for which he gave the voice of his famous voice synthesizer. He also made appearances on “The Big Bang Theory” and “Star Trek: Next Generation”.

* In 1997, he lost a bet made with American theoretical physicist John Preskill. He claimed that nothing can escape a black hole, not even information. However, he was proven wrong and he admitted his mistake in 2004.

* The voice assigned to his speech synthesizer is one its kind. The artificial voice has an American accent, even though he is of British origin. Hawking refused to upgrade his voice because he believed that the unique voice has become a part of his identity.

* Hawking has never been nominated for a Nobel Prize, mainly because of the field of his research – black holes.