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With Stephen Hawking’s passing, world loses one of its best minds, say Russian scientists

British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76 on March 14
Stephen Hawking

MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. After the death of British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, the world has lost one of its most distinguished scientists, former President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Fortov told TASS.

Hawking died at the age of 76 on Wednesday at his home in Cambridge, UK, The Guardian wrote citing his family.

"His research on black holes is an elegant scientific work explaining the nature of black holes. He wrote a number of books, which became very popular, namely A Brief History of Time, and many people started showing interest in science thanks to his works," said Fortov, who had met Hawking several times in the United States and twice in the United Kingdom.

Hawking constantly thought about science and dreamt of explaining the world through mathematics, said chief research scientist at the L. D. Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics Alexey Starobinsky, who had personally known the British scientist since 1973.

"This (individual) was indeed an outstanding scientist… Because of the hardship his physical abilities were limited, but in a certain sense consequently he fully focused on science, he perpetually thought about this. His dream was not to simply explain through words, but to calculate everything that we see - this is a challenging task, and he was very close to achieving it," Starobinsky said.

A senior researcher at the Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Igor Tkachev, said Hawking’s best work was devoted to blackbody radiation, which is known as Hawking radiation.

"This is a fundamental achievement, one of the most important ones in the theory of relativity and quantum field theory, which changed our views about the world," Tkachev told TASS.

According to the scientist, Hawking had been eager to visit the Soviet Union and attend seminars on quantum gravity.

Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford, England. In 1963, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic sclerosis. Some 22 years later after suffering from pneumonia, the scientist underwent tracheostomy. He lost his voice and used a speech synthesizer.

However, the serious disease did not stop Hawking from becoming one of the world’s best-known theoretical physicists of the modern era. The scientist focused on cosmology and quantum gravity. Hawking authored numerous scientific works, including A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes, and The Universe in a Nutshell.