Remembering Stephen Hawking

image

I
first met Stephen Hawking when I was a graduate student at Caltech. In
those days there were frequent gatherings at the homes of professors and I even
came to visit Stephen’s home in Cambridge for a party of physicists. His
children made the biggest impression on me, so lively in a crowd of physics
whisperers.

I
continued to see him when I joined the physics faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as he visited
the Institute for Theoretical Physics often. His insights into the nature of
the universe assured all of us young scientists that the cosmos was far
stranger, far more interesting than we could have imagined. If black holes of
all sizes populated the universe, what else could be out there waiting to be
discovered? 

I knew Stephen had made it into the public consciousness when,
years ago, my taxi driver asked me if I had read “A Brief History of Time.” He
had read it, and said he enjoyed it. Stephen Hawking was a most remarkable
person. He gives hope that in every person, no matter what his physical
liabilities, there is a deep soul, with abundant insight.

Photo credit: 

Lwp
Kommunikáció via Flickr CC By 2.0