People who boast about their IQ are losers
– Stephen Hawking
Lucknow has been witness to many literary, cultural and scientific revolutions. In the land of the Sepoy Mutiny, the existence of institutions like CIMAP, CDRI, KGMC and SGPGI are testimony that science has been an intrinsic part of the legacy that Lucknow boasts of.
Not surprisingly the city has a strong connection with noted physicist Stephen Hawking, who has fascinated the scientific world with theories that have left many awestruck. Battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), he was heir to Frank Hawking who served the Central Drug Research Institute at Lucknow’s Chhattar Manzil in the late 50s. Frank had also headed the National Institute for Medical Research in England.
Interestingly even Stephen’s sister had studied in a school in Lucknow.
Back in the day while writing his book – My Brief History, Hawking chronicled his Lucknow connect in the book published by Bantam Press.
If the account in his memoir is to be believed his family lived in a house rented from a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Hawking sadly neither got a Nobel Prize, nor did he get good grades.
His inquisitive mind made him the talk of the school and his teachers often referred to him as‘Einstein’.
Often considered the last word in Quantum Physics, there was a time when he lost a bet on black holes.
An atheist he could talk at length about possibility of aliens in the universe say reports.
A man who stayed away from spotlight, he made several appearances on screen. Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, Futurama to name a few. He even appeared on ‘The Big Bang theory’, a popular television serial that jokes at the arcane mysteries of theoretical physics.
Hawking’s early work (in collaboration with Roger Penrose) was on singularity theorems in Einstein’s general Theory of Relativity. His bestselling book ‘A brief history of time’, and sequels, have drawn public into esoteric realms of space, time and blackholes.
Stephen Hawking on 14 March,2018 passed away in the early hours, leaving behind a rich intellectual legacy that will dominate theoretical physics for generations.