As previously reported on Geektimes, today morning in his house died one of the greatest scientists of the new time, the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. He was 76 years old. Despite serious illness, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Hawking has lived a full life — has spoken at conferences, appeared on television, even voiced himself in the simpsons. But of course, he came to prominence not so much for public activities, as for their scientific work. Scientific researches and achievements of Hawking, and the focus of this article.
What kind of work and what direction to “dig” a scientist? Why about him and his books, concepts say many? Hawking is one of the founders of quantum cosmology. Scientist formed a theory of the Universe in the Big Bang. During the work he made a number of discoveries, including such specific areas as the evolution of stars. One of his first books, “a brief history of time” became popular-science bestseller, read it even people very far from science.
The material of the biographical data is not very much, it is written in order to give an idea of the work of Hawking. However, for a better understanding of how much an outstanding person he was, is to indicate a few facts from the life of a scientist, just a couple of paragraphs.
Stephen Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford. Despite the intelligence, the school he didn’t stand out as, in fact, many scientists before him. A C student was Einstein. By the way, Hawking received from school friends nicknamed Einstein. After high school he enrolled at the University and during their studies, the doctors gave Hawking’s diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Unfortunately, this disease is not treated, and most patients with this diagnosis die young.
The student’s speech became less intelligible, he finds it difficult to walk, fine motor skills became a problem. However, a future prominent scientist continued his studies. In 1962 he graduated from the University, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics. After doctors diagnosed the disease, Hawking was given just two years most physicians did not expect.
However, the disease is not too progressed rapidly, Hawking went to late 60’s, then he had to start to move around in a wheelchair. In 1985 scientist from pneumonia, after which he lost the ability to speak. It was then that he began using a speech synthesizer. This has not stopped him from his chosen path — the path to knowledge.
In 1965 a young professional started research activities in Cambridge University in the College Gonville and Keyes. Just a year later he received the degree of doctor of philosophy. After this the scientist became very diverse. For example, he went to work in the Institute of theoretical astronomy. There, at the Department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics, Hawking became a Professor of physics and mathematics.
His early career had a time in the 60’s, when was the third of a series of classical experiments “experience”, which confirmed the validity of the General theory of relativity of albert Einstein. This experience showed the gravitational redshift — that is, the frequency change of light when passing beam near a massive object, like a star.
When Einstein’s theory was confirmed, scientists began to investigate its possible manifestations and consequences. For example, the dynamics of expansion of the Universe after leaving the equilibrium state. Also many specialists began to study black holes. This subject has interested and Hawking. In the thesis, the scientist used a theorem which was formulated by his colleague, the British mathematician Roger Penrose. The merit of Stephen Hawking was that he applied these theorems to the Universe, explaining, in particular, gravitational signularity. They provide a phenomenon of space-time, attempts to apply equations of General relativity which give incorrect from a physical point of view solutions.
It’s interesting that Penrose was able to explain the formation process of black holes by measuring the singularity. Penrose claimed that the average star turns into black hole due to gravitational collapse that accompanied the birth of a special kind of surface. It can be called “trapped”.
It is clear that “to study” black holes directly, therefore it is necessary to offer explanations of different phenomena, making sure that this explanation is consistent with other phenomena and their manifestations, as well as with the General concept of space-time. In 1971, Hawking suggested that in addition to the usual black holes, there are microscopic objects with a mass of billions of tons but the volume not exceeding the volume of the proton.
Developing this theory in the 70-ies of the last century, along with scientists Hawking and Brandon Carter and David Robinson were able to bring the evidence base under the hypothesis of the American physicist John Wheeler. According to him, isolated black holes, described in the space-time of Schwarzschild can be characterized by two parameters. The first mass and the second angular momentum.
In his work “the large scale structure of space-time” Hawking another scientist, John Ellis pointed out that the final stage of evolution of a massive star is a black hole. That is, a collapse beyond the event horizon, which formed a black hole, inside which, in turn, is formed a singularity. Scholars have argued that in the early evolution of the Universe, too, was a singularity, which can be described as the beginning of all beginnings.
A colleague of Hawking in the 60-ies of the last century tried to explain the formation and existence of black holes only by the methods of quantum mechanics and General relativity. Hawking was one of the first if not the first, was to apply thermodynamics. He was able to obtain an exact expression for the entropy of a black hole. In this case, Stephen Hawking has used the work of the Israeli physicist Jacob Bekenstein, who brought dependence — the entropy of a black hole is proportional to its area.
In the ‘ 70s, Stephen Hawking met a number of scientists of the USSR, including the famous physicist Yakov Zeldovich. The latter believed that black holes may emit photons. The thing is that on the event horizon in a black hole formed a pair of virtual particles. And one of them goes away from the hole, and the second falls into it. Taking advantage of this promising idea, Hawking was able to calculate the thermal spectrum of a black hole. He got an interesting result. For example, the temperature of a black hole with mass equal to the sun, is almost zero, only one-millionth of a Kelvin. Because of this, black holes cannot be detected by conventional methods. But such objects deflect light rays when passing those around, which is an indirect evidence of the existence of holes in space. Modern astronomers locate massive objects, including black holes, due to this phenomenon.
Some time later Hawking, together with a colleague, scientist James Hartley in the US have developed the notion that there are parallel worlds, for which there is a single wave function. And what we are seeing, people — only one of the possible realities. This concept is further moved in a lot of science fiction, the Foundation of which is just a theory of plurality of realities.
Despite the fact that the body became more and more feeble, the scientist’s brain was working clearly. He continued the research work and active life. Unfortunately, over time, the scientist was able to control only one muscle in the body — facial muscles of the cheeks. Specially to Hawking’s engineers have developed a computer control system based on motion sensor. That is, movements of the facial muscles Hawking managed system.
He continued to work actively. Hawking published a paper mentioned above — “a Brief history of time”. This work is translated into many languages. The total circulation of books is more than 10 million copies.
Hawking, by the way, first said that the information that was transferred into the black hole hit her with objects not saved. It is true, then the scientist changed his mind, explaining that information is not lost, however, transformirovalsya in a form that is unavailable to humans. Matter that falls into the hole evaporates due to Hawking radiation. But the information is not stored inside the black hole, and event horizon. Hawking explained this phenomenon using the techniques of the functional integral is taken over the space with the trivial topology.
“Black holes really are not so black as they paint. It is not an eternal prison, whom they represent. Something can come out of them, and perhaps, in another universe. So if you feel yourself falling into a black hole, don’t give up. There is a solution!”, — Hawking said in one of his lectures.
As for other universes, by Stephen Hawking and some of his colleagues believed that black holes could be tunnels in the “sozdanie” universes. However, not all black holes, but only those, which are quite large and rotate. However, passing through this tunnel into our universe to return is impossible. Interestingly, this concept has become the basis for a series of science fiction.
By the way, despite the fact that the work of cosmologists is quite difficult to understand (and that’s putting it mildly), the real world is even more difficult, because physics and mathematics are trying to explain only part of the phenomena that we observe or believe that the observed. The learning process is infinite as the universe itself. It is impossible to hope that the Universe will become clear to our descendants in a hundred or even a thousand years. But some points are clarified, and the fog of the unknown are gradually dissipating, albeit slowly, opening clear line of Knowledge. And this is an undoubted merit of Stephen Hawking. After his death the children of the scientist stated that he left a legacy to several generations at once. In this no doubt.
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