Stephen Hawking: The Man Who Breathed Cosmos

Source: Dubai News Gate

All the people who are hyped about the death of Hawking today, before you go any further, just try to know what this brilliant mind gave to Physics.This is a thrashing to those stupid brats on facebook who are saying “his works won’t be of any use for anyone”

What Stephen William Hawking did is beyond your knowledge. He actually elaborated the great quote of Einstein “The deeply emotional convection of the presence of an incomprehensible universe is the idea of God”. His strive for The Theory of Everything is nothing but a search for God, the system keeping this universe balanced.

So, what did he do? Yes, you only know his name, but not his inventions. He tried to combine the two most fascinating fields of Physics: General Relativity and Quantum Theory. General Relativity will, of course, leads us back to 1910, when Einstein proposed this to replace that of Newton.

Newton proposed that heavy bodies wrap the space-time near them but he assumed that they create a field around them which permeated space, but this was not the fact in the General Relativity that Einstein proposed, he did say that gravity is definitely not a field, rather a property of space itself. Massive bodies can collapse under its own gravity with all mass being centred into a point of infinite density, known as Singularity, or precisely a reverse Big Bang. The point of Singularity creates a region in space which is so tightly wrapped by gravity that not even light can escape it.

Robert Oppenheimer already proposed these in a paper in 1939, later on, Hawking’s brilliance rocked these black pages of black holes. Singularity was indeed a bizarre concept. In 1959, when Hawking began his undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford, that physicists started to take the idea seriously. It was examined closely by John Wheeler at Princeton University in New Jersey, who allegedly gave black holes their name, Roger Penrose in the UK, and Yakov Zel’dovich in the Soviet Union. After completing his degrees, he started a PhD at the University of Cambridge, under the supervision of cosmologist Denis Sciama. By then, he was diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which would ultimately leave him almost entirely paralysed. Under his guide, he started to focus on Big Bang theory and soon he understood, Big Bang was rather like the collapse of a black hole in reverse. He along with Penrose in 1970 published a paper with the proposal of the universe starting as a Singularity.

Hawking also figured out that, like the entropy of the universe, the black hole only increases, but never decreases. He proposed that the ever-increasing surface area of the event horizon is analogous to a quantity which according to physics can only grow. Yes, indeed it is Entropy giving the number of disorders in a system.
When Hawking announced his result at the end of 1970, a young physicist named Jacob Bekenstein made a bold proposal: what if this wasn’t just an analogy? Bekenstein suggested that the surface area of a black hole’s event horizon might be a measure of the black hole’s entropy. This seemed impossible, many including Hawking denied it. Bekenstein himself called it a paradox, but later on, it goes on proving to be a truth. In order to show this, he had to bring together two areas of physics that nobody else had managed to unify: general relativity and quantum theory, because, of course if a body has an entropy, it must have a temperature, and with a temperature everybody will radiate energy, but black hole radiates nothing at all.

Quantum Theory deals with atoms whereas relativity deals with heavy bodies, according to relativity, space is smooth like a sheet, but quantum theory proposed that everything in this universe is grainy put together into lumps. Combining these two sounded like a myth.Scientists searched for The Theory of Everything (read, Holy Grail of Physics) by combining these two but it never was a success. Hawking too couldn’t combine them, but, his quantum analysis of black holes used a sort of patchwork of the two existing theories. The combination of general relativity, quantum theory, thermodynamics and information theory in Hawking’s work on black holes is innovative and remarkable. Nothing else he has done has equalled it.

There is of course more to it leading to Hawking’s radiation and theory. But, before shouting out loud, before being a Physics maniac just for today, get to know this man, this brain which transcended reality and could think of the fourth dimension before talking on it.