Thursday 16 August 2018

Tributes paid to 'outstanding scientist and academic' Professor Stephen Hawking

File photo dated 9/12/2014 of Professor Stephen Hawking (front), who has died aged 76, with (from left) Felicity Jones, Jane Hawking and Eddie Redmayne, attending the UK Premiere of The Theory of Everything at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. Ian West/PA Wire
File photo dated 9/12/2014 of Professor Stephen Hawking (front), who has died aged 76, with (from left) Felicity Jones, Jane Hawking and Eddie Redmayne, attending the UK Premiere of The Theory of Everything at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. Ian West/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Tributes to Professor Stephen Hawking have been made around the world after the celebrated physicist's death at 76 was announced.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said Prof Hawking had "made the world a better place" and his death was "anguishing".

"Professor Stephen Hawking was an outstanding scientist and academic. His grit and tenacity inspired people all over the world," a tweet on his page said.

US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was one of the first to pay tribute to Prof Hawking. Sharing a photo of himself and Prof Hawking on Twitter, he said the scientist's death has "left an intellectual vacuum in his wake".

He added: "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."

Sean Carroll, a physics professor at US university Caltech, said: "Stephen Hawking was the rare famous scientist who deserved every bit of his fame. A brilliant physicist and an inspirational person. And quite a character."

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 file photo Pope Francis greets physicist Stephen Hawking during an audience with participants at a plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, at the Vatican. (L'Osservatore Romano/pool photo via AP, File)
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 file photo Pope Francis greets physicist Stephen Hawking during an audience with participants at a plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, at the Vatican. (L'Osservatore Romano/pool photo via AP, File)
File photo dated 9/12/2014 of Professor Stephen Hawking (front), who has died aged 76, with (from left) Felicity Jones, Jane Hawking and Eddie Redmayne, attending the UK Premiere of The Theory of Everything at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. Ian West/PA Wire
File photo dated 25/02/12 of Professor Stephen Hawking, who has died aged 76, posing beside a lamp titled 'black hole light' by inventor Mark Champkins, presented to him during his visit to the Science Museum in London. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
File photo dated 09/09/1992 Professor Stephen Hawking, who had died aged 76, and Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Hodgkin, with their portraits unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in London. /PA Wire
File photo dated 08/02/2015 of Eddie Redmayne and Professor Stephen Hawking, who has died aged 76, arriving at the After-party dinner for the EE British Academy Film Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
File photo dated 19/09/08 of Professor Stephen Hawking, who has died aged 76, during the unveiling of The Corpus Clock, a new installation at Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University. Chris Radburn/PA Wire
File photo dated 29/04/10 of Professor Stephen Hawking, who has died aged 76, watching the first preview of his new show for the Discovery Channel, Stephen Hawking's Universe. David Parry/PA Wire
U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Freedom to scientist Stephen Hawking during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, August 12, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File photo
CEO of ZERO-G Peter Diamandis (L) and British physicist Stephen Hawking stand on lift truck after his flight at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida April 26, 2007. REUTERS/Charles W Luzier/File photo
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy arrive at the British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File photo
Former South African President Nelson Mandela (R) meets theoretical physicist professor Stephen Hawking at Mandela's Foundation office in Johannesburg May 15, 2008. Pool/via REUTERS/File photo
Microsoft President Bill Gates (L), accompanied by University Vice-Chancellor Professor Alec Broers, meets Professor Stephen Hawking on a visit to Cambridge University October 7, 1997. REUTERS/Stringer/File photo
Jane Wilde Hawking kisses her ex-husband Stephen Hawking as she arrives at the UK premiere of the film "The Theory of Everything" which is based around Stephen Hawking's life, at a cinema in central London December 9, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning/File
British physicist Stephen Hawking delivers a lecture on "The Origin of the Universe" at the Heysel conference hall in Brussels May 20, 2007. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File photo
Britain's Queen Elizabeth (L) meets Stephen Hawking during a reception for Leonard Cheshire Disability charity at St James's Palace in London May 29, 2014. Jonathan Brady/Pool via REUTERS/File photo

Greenpeace USA thanked Prof Hawking for helping people understand their place in the universe and for "leaving us in awe and wonder".

Celebrities also paid tribute, with US singer Katy Perry saying his death left a "big black hole in my heart".

Jonathan Ross tweeted: "RIP Stephen Hawking. The world just dropped a lot of IQ points. And, he was a fun person. Very sad news."

KT Tunstall tweeted: "Wow. What a life. What an extraordinary Human Being. Enjoy the cosmos Stephen Hawking, the biggest and most mysterious adventure that we all get to go on one day... RIP #genius."

File photo dated 25/02/12 of Professor Stephen Hawking, who has died aged 76, posing beside a lamp titled 'black hole light' by inventor Mark Champkins, presented to him during his visit to the Science Museum in London. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
File photo dated 25/02/12 of Professor Stephen Hawking, who has died aged 76, posing beside a lamp titled 'black hole light' by inventor Mark Champkins, presented to him during his visit to the Science Museum in London. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The rock band Foo Fighters tweeted: "'Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet' - RIP Stephen Hawking you f****** legend."

US actor Macaulay Culkin described Prof Hawking as a "genius", adding that the physicist was also his favourite Simpsons character.

He tweeted: "I just heard about Stephen Hawking's passing. He was both a genius and my favorite Simpsons character. We'll miss you, buddy."

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said Prof Hawking "epitomised true courage over adversity as you explained the wonders of the universe to the world".

He wrote on Twitter: "Your achievements symbolise the pwr of the human mind. An inspiration to us all, whatever our station in life, to reach for the stars-from where you now shine down on us."

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