Monday, April 20, 2009

Hawking Hospitalized

Stephen Hawking was rushed to the hospital today and is reported to be “seriously ill.” He has been fighting a chest infection for several weeks which led to the cancellation of an April 6 appearance at Arizona State University.

Details are still vague but the report raises grave concerns about the 67 year old physicist and mathematician who suffers from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

Hawking was 21 when he was first diagnosed with the disease. Only about 5% of people diagnosed with ALS live for 10 years or longer which is just one aspect of his incredible story.

Last year Hawking announced that we would step down from his post as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics – a pleasant little job once held by Isaac Newton.

In 2007 Hawking was able to experience zero-gravity for himself when he took flight in an airplane specially modified for “parabolic flight” which allowed him to experience weightlessness in 25 second increments.

Having a resonant understanding of gravity and singularities like black holes and having spent decades pinned into a wheelchair by gravity made this lifelong dream of Hawking’s positively poetic.

All of us here at TMUOTF (which is just me really) hope that Hawking will be able to continue to explore the mysteries of the cosmos and help us understand our universe.

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