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11:24 22 June
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Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.

 

He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said, APA reported citing BBC.

 

The Briton was known for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

 

At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease.

 

The illness left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesiser.

 

In a statement his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said: "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.

 

Prof Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics.

 

He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing - a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation.

 

Through his work with mathematician Sir Roger Penrose he demonstrated that Einstein's General Theory of Relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes.

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