27 Feb

Ateneo Libre de Benalmádena

Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, 300 years after the death of Galileo. He passed away on March 14, 2018, with 76 years.

He married twice, the first with Jane Wilde, with whom he had three children (Robert, Lucy and Tim), and the second was Elaine Mason.

Shortly after his first marriage, aged 21, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which worsened over the years, until he was almost completely paralyzed, forcing him to communicate through a voice generator. . He has been the longest person with this disease, to which he survived 55 years when the average life expectancy is approximately 14 months. Her daughter says that when she finished this term, she considered each new day as a gift, striving to enjoy it.

He was one of the greatest scientists of our time. He worked on black holes and spatio-temporal singularities. One of his developed theories was the so-called Hawking radiation. Another issue was his controversy on the problem of "information loss in black holes." And the subject to which he dedicated much of his work was the study of time (not the weather).

Regarding his university profile, he was the head of the Lucasiana Chair of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, an honor he shared with his predecessor Dirac and with the great Newton

He wrote informative books on science, "Brief history of time", "From the Big Bang to black holes", "Brief history of time", "The universe in a nutshell", "The great design", "Black holes" , "Small universes and other essays" and "The theory of everything". His daughter Lucy wrote, "Brief answers to big questions", a compilation of some notes from her father about the concerns she had in her life, which reflects a summary of the tendency to ask questions that she did not understand and that she tried to explain. In our municipal library you can find the book Stephen Hawking, his life and work, by Kitty Ferguson.

He considered all his life that the important thing is to ask questions as the beginning of getting an explanation about reality. Hawking was all his life a child who was always asking "how and why things work". An idea that always guided him was never to give definitively any explanation of reality; It will always be possible to find some more true or more complete.

"I am not religious in the normal sense of the word, I believe that the Universe is governed by the laws of science, those laws could have been created by God, but God does not intervene to break his own laws.


Francisco Quintana López is vice president of the Ateneo and Ing. Ind.