Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned Physicist, is no longer among us. But his pathbreaking research work and findings still remain the basis of several scientific investigations across the world.
Here’s a list of Hawking’s greatest discoveries that reshaped science as we know.
1. Gravitational Singularity
Einstein’s theory of gravity allows singularities – locations in spacetime where the gravitational field of an astronomical body causes it to appear infinitely curved.
Although the existence of singularities was unconfirmed but in the year 1970, Hawking and Penrose implemented the same theory to the entire universe validating that time and universe began from such a singularity commonly known as the Big Bang theory.
2. Black Hole Dynamics
The second law of black hole dynamics was postulated by him. It explained that the total surface area of a black hole could never get smaller.
He also worked on the “no hair” theorem which postulates that black holes can be characterized by three parameters namely, mass, angular momentum, and electric charge.
3. Hawking Radiation
Physicists mostly believed that nothing could escape a black hole, but Hawking used quantum theory to explain that black holes emit heat which continues until they exhaust their energy and eventually vanish.
Although this process is very slow and requires time equivalent to the age of the universe to evaporate a black hole of same mass size as the sun.
4. Dawn Of Galaxies
The British physicist also supported the cosmological inflation which describes how the universe expanded exponentially just after the Big Bang and gradually settled down to a slower expansion rate.
He was the first one to explain how diminutive variations at the time of expansion may give rise to different galaxies in the universe.
5. Wave Function Of The Universe
In a quest to create a quantum theory of gravity, he collaborated with Jim Hartle in the year 1983 and proposed the wave function of the universe.
This theory is known as the Hartle–Hawking state. It says that the Universe has no origin and it is still used by physicists to calculate the properties of the universe.