I remember my first brush with Stephen Hawking’s work. It was a special Scientific American volume that included his 1977 paper, “The Quantum Mechanics of Black Holes,” detailing his how black holes can emit radiation and evaporate away, given enough time. The book is my sister’s, and I don’t remember when I first read it. I am certain that I didn’t understand most of it at the time but what I did understand made a life-long impression on me. It’s a fascinating article.
As an aside, I never did give the book back to my sister and I still have it. Sorry Sis.
Through the years, Hawking revealed more of the universe to humanity and made it understandable to the non-physicist. I firmly believe the pursuit of knowledge and pushing back the boundaries of ignorance is among the noblest of professions.
Hawking was a giant among those in that profession and we’re less without him.
Photo courtesy of NASA.