UK: Stephen Hawking's death leaves Black Hole in science *ARCHIVE*

SOT, Steven Molaro, Producer of 'Big Bang Theory': «Sorry we can't be there. We are busy writing season eleven of the Big Bang Theory.» SOT, Chuck Lorre, Creator of 'Big Bang Theory': «It is such an honour to receive this award. We never thought the show would have an actual impact on science. So when we hear about kids who have actually chosen a career in physics because of Sheldon and Leonard... Еще, it's very humbling.» (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) Stephen Hawking passed away peacefully in the early hours of Wednesday morning at his home in Cambridge. The world-renowned physicist was 76 years old. Archive footage captured some memorable moments of Stephen Hawking's life, including at the Royal Society in London and at the Starmus Festival in Trondheim, Norway. Hawking defied all odds by developing his most ground-breaking theories of physics, space and time after he was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a type of motor neurone disease in 1962 and was speculated to live only two more years. Best known for his contributions to cosmology and black hole theory, he was the celebrated author of such seminal works as 'A Brief History of Time' and 'The Universe in a Nutshell,' and was often regarded as one of the most significant scientists of modern times since Albert Einstein. After undergoing a throat surgery operation in 1985, Hawking lost what had remained of his voice. In 1986, he began communicating through an electronic voice synthesizer which became his trademark. Interestingly, he turned down an offer to upgrade the robotic voice from an American to a British accent stating the voice had become part of his identity. He was married twice and fathered three children with his first wife, Jane Wilde. His life and relationship with Jane was detailed in the 2014 British film 'The Theory of Everything' for which actor Eddie Radmayne won an Academy awards. Hawking has often been portrayed in popular culture including the animated shows Futurama, The Simpsons and even cameoed as himself in the hit American sitcom 'The Big Bang Theory.' Despite his significant contributions to science, he was never nominated for a Nobel Prize as black holes did not fit in any of the prize's category. He even turned down a knighthood over disagreements over budget allocations for science in the United Kingdom. An award, the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication is bestowed on his behalf to those promoting public awareness of science in Starmus Festival each year. The last recipients of the award, American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and 'The Big Bang Theory' creators were among many who took to social media to express their sorrow over the passing of the bright star with Tyson saying, «His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it's not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of space-time that defies measure.»

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