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PreObit Stephen William Hawking

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Stephen Hawking applied mathematician, theoretical physicist, author, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge has died.

A firm believer that science should be accessible to everyone his most well known book, A Brief History of Time, which spent 237 weeks on the British Times Weekly best seller list attempts to educate the non specialist reader on quantum gravity, black holes, light cones and super string theory. Amazingly for such mathematically intense topics the book contains only a single equation E=mc2.

Hawking may be most famous for his voice because he didn't have one. Struck with what is believed to be a variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease and specifically Spinal Muscular Atrophy type IV at the age of 21 and given three years to live Hawking lost his voice at 43 as a result of a tracheotomy. So he spoke with a DECtalk DTC01 synthesizer using the muscles in his cheek for input as ALS eventually left him almost completely paralysed. Hawking is notable for having lived decades after being diagnosed with a disease that generally kills within 10 years.