The author and narrator of the book, Hawking often appears as an active character given his vital role in the progress of modern physics. He took on a PhD despite his diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease, choosing in 1965 to apply Roger Penrose’s ideas on black hole singularities to create theories about the big bang. From there, he tackled questions about the large-scale structure of the universe, as well as the workings of the tiniest particles science has yet discovered. Overall, his aim was to help humanity to one day find a unified theory of everything and help the lay person to understand it, so that we might understand the mind of God. Hawking admires humanity’s quest for knowledge and makes examples of those who have stood in the way, including himself.
Stephen Hawking Quotes in A Brief History of Time
The A Brief History of Time quotes below are all either spoken by Stephen Hawking or refer to Stephen Hawking . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam edition of A Brief History of Time published in 1988.).
Chapter 7 Quotes
[…] one evening in November that year, shortly after the birth of my daughter, Lucy, I started to think about black holes as I was getting into bed. My disability makes this rather a slow process, so I had plenty of time.
Related Characters: Stephen Hawking
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Stephen Hawking Character Timeline in A Brief History of Time
The timeline below shows where the character Stephen Hawking appears in A Brief History of Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...and possibly finite, with a beginning and an end. This was the start for Stephen Hawking's own work in theoretical physics, and later he showed with Roger Penrose that Einstein's general... (full context)
...singularities, in this case, black holes. While Penrose only talked about stars, a young Stephen Hawking saw the relevance this had for the big bang theory. After surviving longer than expected... (full context)
...of symmetry, its size and shape depend only on its mass and rate of rotation. Hawking helped to prove this for stationary rotating black holes. David Robinson later used their work... (full context)
This non-decreasing nature of black holes determines much of their behavior. Penrose agreed with Hawking, and they determined a black hole’s area could be determined by its event horizon. This... (full context)
...have a temperature, meaning it must emit radiation—but black holes aren’t meant to emit anything. Hawking, Carter, and Jim Bardeen wrote a paper in 1972 to challenge Bekenstein’s finding. Hawking partially... (full context)
...the first significant example of general relativity and quantum theory combining. John G. Taylor opposed Hawking when he announced these discoveries. But in the end, everyone agreed that if these two... (full context)
...small, it will simply disappear. Quantum theory seemed to undermine the idea of singularities, and Hawking’s work turned in that direction in the late 70s, focusing on Feynman’s sum over histories. (full context)