Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Why Stephen Hawking's voice computer spoke with an AMERICAN accent

Stephen Hawking dies aged 76 British scientist Stephen Hawking dead at age 76: 10 Interesting facts about Man who questioned the UNIVERSE
Doris Mccormick | 14 March, 2018, 10:46

Celebrities, public figures, and scientists from around the world have begun sending tributes to physicist Stephen Hawking, who died at the age of 76 early Wednesday morning.

"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years", Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said in a statement.

Although physicians initially gave him just a few years to live, his disease advanced more slowly than expected.

"His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world".

"He once said, "it would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love".

Published for the first time in 1988, "A Brief History of Time" stayed on the Sunday Times bestsellers list for an unprecedented 237 weeks.

Hawking was suffering from ALS for several decades.

In the 2012 biography "Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind", author Kitty Ferguson wrote that it was rumoured that Hawking would try to run over the toes of people who annoyed him.

The best-known theoretical physicist of his time, Hawking wrote so lucidly of the mysteries of space, time and black holes that his book, "A Brief History of Time", became an global bestseller, making him one of science's biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein. Still, Hawking progressively lost use of most of his muscles, and for the last three decades of his life was communicating nearly exclusively through a voice synthesizer.

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He said: "Perhaps one day we will be able to use gravitational waves to look back into the heart of the Big Bang".

Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England.

He also appeared as himself in an episode of the BBC comedy series, Red Dwarf and as a hologram of his image in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Hawking said making the first moves into space would "elevate humanity" because it would have to involve many countries.

Beyond scientific debate Hawking also weighed into politics, describing Donald Trump as "a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator" ahead of his election as USA president.

American astrophysisist Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote: "His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake".

But that's not the only major contribution or discovery that Hawking will be remembered for. "Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure". He was diagnosed with ALS when he was 21, while a doctoral student in cosmology at the University of Cambridge.

His 1988 book "A Brief History of Time" was an global bestseller; "A Briefer History of Time", meant to be more accessible, followed in 2005. The world famous physicist and cosmologist was the subject of the 2014 film "The Theory Of Everything", which starred Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

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