Remembering Stephen Hawking

This blog post won’t be a long one–it is just a short remembrance of Stephen Hawking who passed away earlier this week.  My interest in Hawking’s work came because I’m interested–no, fascinated–by Black Holes.  Even before I saw the Disney movie Black Hole, I had encountered them in children’s astronomy books that I’d checked out from the library–and a popular science paperback that I bought from the library’s book-sale.

Every so often, I would see the name Stephen Hawking appear/pop-up in relation to something Black Hole related.  So, in the pre-Internet days of my childhood (Internet existed, but not something that consumers could access), I didn’t really know who he was.  However, in the mid-80s, his popularity grew from Academics into Popular Culture and I started seeing him on PBS shows related to science like Nova (this is where I saw him the most), Sixty Minutes, and even on episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, so I got to see him and understand his importance to science.

I have his book, A Brief History of Time, but while I’ve gotten to Chapter 2 or 3, I have to admit, it starts off with a discussion of Newtonian Physics and the history of cosmology (as I recall), but what I was after was the information on, you guessed it, Black Holes, so I stopped reading.  I will pick it back up–I’m going to try to make finishing it this year a goal.

Anyway, I just wanted to say, that I while I did not ever get a chance to see, meet, or hear Stephen Hawking in person, he did touch my life tangentially through our shared fascination with Black Holes and their inherent properties, and thanks to the power of television, both PBS shows like Nova and more popular fare like Star Trek the Next Generation, I really got to feel like I knew Mr. Hawking quite well.

You will be missed!

Sidney



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