There Should Be No Boundary To Human Endeavor
A brief history; Stephen Hawking's effect on my life
Life | March 14, 2018
Science is awesome. Since I was a young child, my eyes were always pointed up. I loved science fiction movies, the space shuttle, rockets, Lego spaceships, space flight simulators... I couldn't get enough of it. The idea of going to space was just fascinating. Once I got to high school, I was taking advanced math and science classes. It was around that time I decided to study on my own; my first science text I read outside of school was "A Brief History of Time", by the late, great Stephen Hawking. I was spellbound by it's wordy presence and description of gravitational effects from black holes on it's surrounding masses. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, and as Neil DeGrasse Tyson puts it, "... even light bows to it's gravity." (This was paraphrased from an episode of Cosmos); that fact absolutely blew my mind, and paved the way for my own pursuit into physics.
Let us rewind a bit and give a little backstory on Professor Hawking for those that didn't know or didn't remember. Born January 8, 1942 in Oxford, UK to Frank and Isobel Hawking, he was already poised for scholarly pursuits. His father and mother worked at a medical research center during World War II; his father a medical researcher and mother a secretary.
Contrary to what you would think, Professor Hawking was not actually great in school. Between his initial issues with institutionalized schools at the time and financial issues, it was tough for the guy. Eventually though, he started to show a great affinity and ability to learn when it came to science and mathematics. He went on to get a scholarship to Oxford after studying physics and chemistry in his preliminary school and apparently kicking ass in his examinations for said scholarship.
He started at Oxford at 17, and was bored for 18 months, finding the work easy and mundane. He was a recluse, but eventually came out of his shell to become one of the more popular young thinkers at this university during his undergraduate years, and was actually in a rowing crew in the university's Boat Club. His first year as a doctoral student apparently was not going too well; he was diagnosed with motor neuron diesease. He sunk into a deep depression and he basically gave up on his studies and passions. It was compounded by the fact that he could barely walk, hardly speak, and was given about 2 years to live at the time. Obviously, he proved that last one wrong.
He didn't give up; when he started his graduate studies, he was inspired by a great person and scientist by the name of Roger Penrose, and his theorem of spacetime singularity in the middle of a black hole. Professor Hawking thought it would be apt to apply it to a bigger scale of the universe, and wrote his thesis on the subject.
He would go on to win many awards and honours for his contributions to science and the world, as well as write many books such as the aforementioned "A Brief History of Time", "The Universe in a Nutshell", and more.
This man inspired me as a youngster to learn more about the world around me, and was the first person aside from Carl Sagan to show me that we have much to learn, and can never stop in our pursuit of knowledge. The drive, passion, and yearning of our species to learn as much as we can in our short lives still keeps me going to this day. I have no degrees or honours, but I study as much as I can about as many things as I can.
It seems to go without saying that the pursuit of knowledge IS the pursuit of happiness. I will always remember the things that I have learned from reading his books, along with other great thinkers' books, and keep them in the forefront of my mind. The universe is amazing, and every little bit I learn about it makes living life that much more interesting and fantastic.
If you have never read any of this man's work, I highly suggest starting out with "A Brief History of Time". If you are just getting into astronomy, astrophysics, etc, I also suggest reading Neil DeGrasse Tyson's book "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry". The latter is a good place to start your pursuit into "pop science", and just science in general.
Thank you for reading this small diatribe. I hope that this may somehow inspire others to dig deeper into the grand body of scientific knowledge whether they are in school or not.
Never stop learning,
Hi! I am Ronin Dusette. I have many passions; photography, technology, music, travel, martial arts, gaming, cooking... Just whatever tickles my fancy. When I am out on adventures, I have things I would like to share, which is why I created this blog. From visual art, cooking and tech tips, and pretty much anything else I can think of to write will be verbally and visually painted here on this canvas. I hope you enjoy following me on my journey through life. Engage in conversations with me, ask questions, share your thoughts and art. I hope you enjoy what you see here. Thanks for visiting!