Stephen Hawking would have turned 80 on January 8, 2022 if he were still alive. Although he is no longer with us, his contribution to our understanding of the universe remains enormous and should not be forgotten. To pay tribute to the celebrated physicist and cosmologist on what would have been his 80th birthday, Google and his family have created a Doodle video that gives us a condensed version of his life. In addition, the tech giant used Hawking’s famous computer-generated voice to narrate his work and experiences from the time he graduated.
Born in Oxford, England in 1942, Hawking has always been fascinated by the universe. When he was 21, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease. In the years that followed, he lost his mobility and ability to speak, but was able to communicate through a computer using a voice created in the 1980s by MIT engineer Dennis Klatt. In the Doodle, you can hear Hawking’s voice talking about his work on black holes – one of the scientific works he is most famous for is the Hawking radiation, the theory that black holes emit radiation.
You will also hear his voice say that he is free in his mind, even though he cannot move. “I’ve traveled the universe in my mind all my life,” his voice tells us.
In a statement, his daughter Lucy and sons, Robert and Tim Hawking, said:
“We also think he would have felt it important to show that he never allowed the challenges of his physical fitness to limit his ability to express, nor his determination to make an impact on the world he lived in. We hope that his example provides inspiration and hope worldwide to all who face great challenges during this difficult time.Our father would be 80 years old today and we thank everyone who has participated in the celebration of his extraordinary life and the legacy he has given us all .”
You can check out the entire Doodle below.
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