Stephen William Hawking. The writer explores his childhood to help determine how he became the adult that he became. The writer then examines his adult life and works and his contributions to the world as well as some of his more well-known theories and ideas. There were five sources used to complete this paper.

In the world of science and history there are few great names that can match the name of Stephen William Hawking. Hawking is perhaps one of the best known physicist and mathematicians in history, or at least in modern times. He has spent his life studying and developing theories regarding cosmology which is the study of origins, and structure and space time relationships as they relate to the universe.

Hawking brought valuable insight to the table of the universe and provided a blueprint of innovative ideas about the beginning, the boundaries, the content and other aspects of the universe that have puzzled mankind since the beginning of time.

His life work has provided valuable foundation material for future study and he has single-handedly advanced the field in his lifetime.


For one to fully understand the genius and mindset of Stephen W. Hawking one should have an understanding of his childhood and life before his adult work began. This can provide valuable insight as to what formed him to be the adult he became and possibly how he came to be of the mind to be able to develop the ideas that he has developed over the years.

One of the largest influences on the life of Hawking according to history records has been his father.

Hawking was born in Oxford, England in 1942. His father was a well know researcher when Hawking was born. Coming from the genetic background that he did, it is not a surprise that Hawking grew up to become a famous and capable researcher and scientist himself.

When he was a small boy he was not an overachiever. He was not the outstanding student that people might expect that he was given his adult brilliance and world contributions. He was not interested in studies that he considered boring which included some of the sciences.

Hawking has been reported to have found biology and the field of science to be too boring. He has said in adult life that as a child those fields could not hold his interest because they were not exact enough to suit his desire to research.

The two areas that he found the needed exactness to satisfy his curiosity were found in mathematics and physics.

Just as he was not an outstanding or stellar pupil in the younger grades he did not shine when he entered college either. In 1959 Hawking entered Oxford University and did not make any outstanding or noticeable contributions of difference to the college or the world while he attended that college.

One thing that Hawking was that was contrary to many ideas about scientists was social. He was so social that he ignored his school work regularly to attend functions and hang out with friends.

He was a sociable young man who did little schoolwork because he was able to grasp the essentials of a mathematics or physics problem quickly and intuitively. While at Oxford he became increasingly interested in relativity theory and quantum mechanics."

Later, in his adult life he would expound on his interest in the universe and all that the universe entails when he would write or speak publicly about his life.

According to Hawking he has always been fascinated with the big questions in life. While others were wondering what to have for dinner, or what football team to root for, Hawking was wondering how mankind came to be and how the universe was formed. In addition he wanted to understand the exact arrangement of the universe and how it all works together and makes it happen.

All my life, I have been fascinated by the big questions that face us, and have tried to find scientific answers to them. if, like me, you have looked at the stars, and tried to make sense of what you see, you too have started to wonder what makes the universe exist. The questions are clear, and deceptively simple. But the answers have always seemed well beyond our reach. Until now."

According to Hawking there have been 2,000 years of observation to build on and it has brought mankind to a point in which there are new ways to think about the development of the universe.

He reminds the world that the world advanced in less than a century to the point that the orbit around the sun is now understood as well as the many planets in the universe which were previously unknown and absent from conscious.

From sitting at the center of the universe, we now find ourselves orbiting an average-sized sun, which is just one of millions of stars in our own Milky Way galaxy. And our galaxy itself is just one of billions of galaxies, in a universe that is infinite and expanding. But this is far from the end of a long history of inquiry. Huge questions remain to be answered, before we can hope to have a complete picture of the universe we live in."

Hawking has spent his life hoping the world at large will feel the way he does about the universe and want to discover everything about it for the purpose of explaining existence.

I want you to share my excitement at the discoveries, past and present, which have revolutionized the way we think. From the Big Bang to black holes, from dark matter to a possible Big Crunch, our image of the universe today is full of strange sounding ideas, and remarkable truths. The story of how we arrived at this picture is the story of learning to understand what we see."


As an adult Stephen Hawking developed into one of the most brilliant scientists on earth. He understood and grasped the mathematics and physics of theories and ideas that many people would have to study for years to understand. He had an innate and intuitive ability to grasp the whole picture at a glance without getting bogged down in the details of the equation.

This is one of things that make it possible for him to develop the ideas and theories that he has.

Hawking, 1999>

Another difference between Hawking and many other scientists throughout the world is that he understands the world's need for laymen terms. Many scientists are reported to be so scientific and mathematically based that their works and words are boring and over the head of everyone but other scientists. Hawking understands the average person is not going to take time to dissect scientific jargon and he put together a book that explains many of the most mind boggling ideas in history in terms that can be understood by the non-scientist.

One of the ways he gets the ideas across in the Universe in a Nutshell, Hawking uses illustrations and drawings to paint visual pictures and lessons for the reader regarding some mind bending ideas about existence and beginnings.

He works to explain string theories and nature of time issues through words, but the translation ends up tied together with scientific terms that the average reader just does not have in his or her vocabulary.

This is where his use of drawings and illustrations comes in.

In this work of literature Hawking manages to untangle the mystery of science and physics and put everything in non-scientific terms in a way that no other scientist has been able to do. For the first time the layman can pick up a book written by an extremely scientific mind and read along and understand and grasp the ideas that are presented.

Hawking is not a scientist who has closed himself off from the non-scientists of the world. It may be due to his earlier social nature, or maybe it was his upbringing but he is a scientist that truly wants the world to understand and get excited about the things he is excited about. From explaining black holes to the beginning of time Hawking spends his life work trying to communicate with the average man and woman about the things that have excited him since he was a small boy in England.

Hawking has always been careful to credit others with ideas and things that he used to springboard his own ideas from. Hawking is no stranger to fame and admiration and he has no problem crediting himself with the things that he is indeed responsible for. He does however, make sure to toot the horn of those who came before him and those who are beside him working in the field.

Another difference in the tactics and mindset of many scientists and those of Hawking is that he is not afraid to address the religious aspect of the universe either. He addresses it…