On the morning of 14 March 2018, the acclaimed theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking died peacefully in his Cambridge home. He was 76, but remarkably he was given only two years to live when he was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease at the age of 22.
During these years, despite a deteriorating condition, he became one of the world’s best-known science communicators, and helped unravel the mysteries of black holes and the Big Bang.
His contribution to science, as well the impact he made highlighting living with disabilities, has been an inspiration to many across the world.
His children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, released a statement saying “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”
Theirs was not the only tribute to the man, they have been flooding in on Twitter too. Here are some of the heartfelt messages left by those who worked with, influenced by and admired one of the greatest modern scientists:
His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it's not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure. Stephen Hawking, RIP 1942-2018. pic.twitter.com/nAanMySqkt
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) March 14, 2018
Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014 pic.twitter.com/FeR4fd2zZ5
— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2018
Sad to hear about Stephen Hawking. What a remarkable life. His contributions to science will be used as long as there are scientists, and there are many more scientists because of him. He spoke about the value and fragility of human life and civilisation and greatly enhanced both
— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) March 14, 2018
“A giant of our field has left us, but his immortal contributions will remain forever.”
— CERN (@CERN) March 14, 2018
A sad farewell to Professor Stephen Hawking from everyone at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. His inspirational life and work helped us all to see what’s possible, both out in space and here on Earth. “Remember to look up at the stars.” pic.twitter.com/xZZib0g5Ws
— Royal Observatory (@ROGAstronomers) March 14, 2018
We’re very proud to call Stephen Hawking an alumnus of Oxford, and enormously saddened by his passing. Our thoughts are with his family. He reminded us all to “be curious”, for there is “always something you can do and succeed at”. pic.twitter.com/DUSRbeao3U
— Oxford University (@UniofOxford) March 14, 2018
— Jean-Michel Jarre (@jeanmicheljarre) March 14, 2018
Sad that I can't find my copy of A Brief History of Time this morning. I was given it when I was about 12 & it was so clear that it never really occurred to me that the ideas described were quite counter-intuitive & weird. His was a huge life, with so much to celebrate.
— Helen Czerski (@helenczerski) March 14, 2018
"Space, here I come" – remembering world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who showed us there are no limits to achieving our dreams. Our thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/52hpw0Tfwf
— ESA (@esa) March 14, 2018
He inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe. His personality and genius will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with his family.
BBC News – Stephen Hawking dies aged 76 https://t.co/YOuoA6rfzP
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) March 14, 2018
Very sad news today. Stephen Hawking RIP. A remarkable physicist and a great inspiration to many.
— Jodrell Bank (@jodrellbank) March 14, 2018
Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and extraordinary mind – one of the great scientists of his generation. His courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) March 14, 2018
Stephen Hawking inspired the world with his determination to explain the mysteries of the cosmos. But he also showed breathtaking courage to overcome life's adversities and a burning passion to protect our National Health Service. He will be greatly missed.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 14, 2018
We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking. https://t.co/ectv7r4UIm
— Tim Berners-Lee (@timberners_lee) March 14, 2018
Here is a perfect example of Stephen Hawking's extraordinary ability to make serious science genuinely popular
A 90-second explanation of black holes from his Reith Lectures. pic.twitter.com/nZBnWLe7Ry
— BBC Radio 4 (@BBCRadio4) March 14, 2018
“What can be more special than when there is no boundary. And there should be no boundary to human endeavour.”
— ParalympicsGB (@ParalympicsGB) March 14, 2018
In 1985 NPG commissioned this portrait of #StephenHawking, part of a policy to recognise the contribution of science to UK culture. He was only known to specialists at the time, it was in 1988 that he became renowned as the #ABriefHistoryofTime author. Stephen Hawking 1942-2018 pic.twitter.com/ebrt5HpUL7
— Portrait Gallery (@NPGLondon) March 14, 2018
— MND Association (@mndassoc) March 14, 2018
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So sad to wake up to the news that our dear friend Stephen Hawking has passed away. He was one of the bravest men I ever met – optimistic and caring, in spite of. Wing immersed in a constant personal battle to survive. And all the way, although hampered by being able to communicate at the rate of only two words a minute, still managing to crack gentle jokes, and make incisive comments. We at Starmus were privileged to spend quiet time with Stephen, and will miss him badly. He was without a doubt one of the greatest intellects the World has ever seen. RIP Stephen. Bri
You showed us that even black holes weren’t eternal.
But funnily enough, I thought you were.
Thank you for having made me proud of belonging to humanity, showing us all what our best can be.#StephenHawking, you’ll always be my master, and friend.
— Christophe Galfard (@galfard) March 14, 2018
— The Big Bang Theory (@bigbangtheory) March 14, 2018
Farewell to Stephen Hawking, the most intelligent guest star in the brief history of The Simpsons pic.twitter.com/po3fIHgEdh
— Matt Selman (@mattselman) March 14, 2018
Saddened to hear this morning of the passing of Prof Stephen Hawking, an inspirational figure who grappled with the intricacies of the cosmos and was a figurehead of science for all. #RIPStephenHawkinghttps://t.co/BjqYFQ50A5
— Sky at Night Mag (@skyatnightmag) March 14, 2018
What a titan of a human being was Stephen Hawking, what a stellar life he lived. The universe and we are all embiggened by his presence. #stephenhawking
— Dr Adam Rutherford (@AdamRutherford) March 14, 2018
This morning, the Universe really does feel a little lonelier. I’m saddened to my core to hear that Stephen Hawking is no longer with us – a great man who achieve so much and inspired so many.
— Jim Al-Khalili (@jimalkhalili) March 14, 2018