Mind Over Matter : Stephen Hawking

The Cambridge University Theoretical physicist who made revolutionary contributions to our understanding of the nature of the universe

Stephen William Hawking  (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death.

Stephen Hawking was regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history No other scientist in our current era has touched the public imagination as much as Stephen Hawking did. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most brilliant minds, he was known throughout the world for his contributions to the fields of cosmology, general relativity, and quantum gravity,
especially in the context of black holes. Beginning with his foundational work on the nature of black holes in the 1960s and 1970s, his ideas have left their mark on generations of physicists and cosmologists.

Over the course of his career, Hawking studied the basic laws governing the universe. Working with fellow cosmologist Roger Penrose, he demonstrated that Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity suggests that space and time began at the birth of the universe and ends within black holes, which implies that Einstein’s theory and quantum theory must be united. Using the two theories together, Hawking also determined that black holes are not totally dark but instead emit radiation. He predicted that, following the Big Bang, black holes as tiny as protons were created, governed by both general relativity and quantum mechanics. 
Born: 8th January 1942
Profession: A theoretical physicist
Contributions: To the fields of cosmology, general relativity, and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes

PHI Textbooks on Relativity and Cosmology


The general theory of relativity and its applications to cosmology requires a very deep understanding of mathematics and physics. Keeping this in mind, this self-contained textbook is written which addresses general relativity and cosmology. In this book, the attempts have been made to explain mathematicians’ notions in the language of a physicist. Primarily intended for the postgraduate students of mathematics and physics, it gives equal importance to mathematical and physical aspects, and thus sharpens understanding of the theory.


This text is designed to give students a solid foundation in the experimental background of the theory, relativistic kinematics, relativistic dynamics, and relativistic electrodynamics. What distinguishes the text are some special features, not found in other similar texts that give a more intuitive understanding of the subject. Another important feature of the text is its clarity and correctness with which the principles, their relations, and their applications are set forth.
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