Today is 14th March. A day that marks the birthday of Albert Einstein and the death anniversary of another big name: Stephen Hawking. These two brilliant individuals may have had different eras of their prime but both left a big impact in the world of science. They also led special lives but many instances can be compared that show how they were much different yet very similar at the same time.
Here is a pictorial comparison of the lives of two great minds!
At 16, Einstein had a life-changing moment when he was introduced to a children’s science series by Aaron Bernstein, Naturwissenschaftliche Volksbucher which made him more interested in science. Hawking, on the other hand, studied natural sciences at Oxford and after receiving his B.A. in 1962, he went to Cambridge for graduate studies in Physics. At 21, he was diagnosed with ALS.
Einstein took a very different approach to Physics. His most important works include Special Theory of Relativity (1905), General Theory of Relativity (1916), Investigations on Theory of Brownian Movement (1926), and The Evolution of Physics (1938). Hawking extensively studied quantum gravity and quantum mechanics. He showed that black holes emit radiation, which is known as Hawking radiation.
Einstein’s equation of energy and matter revolutionized the concepts of physics. His discovery of photoelectric effect and his theory of general relativity was groundbreaking. Hawking gained international prominence for the first time in 1988 with the publication of ‘A Brief History of Time.’ It was meant to be a simplified version of cosmology for the masses and became an instant bestseller.
Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics 1921 “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” Hawking also received many accolades and awards throughout his life including the Albert Einstein Award and Hughes Medal from the Royal Society.
Albert Einstein was married twice; in 1903 to Mileva Maric and in 1919 to Elsa Einstein. It is debated that he could never have become Einstein without his first wife and college sweetheart, Mileva Maric. Hawking married Jane in 1965 but later got divorced. In 1995, he married his nurse Elaine Mason. The story of his life was also depicted in the award-winning movie “The Theory of Everything.”
Along with his scientific work, Einstein also worked with civil rights activists to condemn racism and anti-Semitism, as he himself experienced it a lot. And Hawking became a symbol of hope and inspiration for many especially those with a disability, as he continued to work and break barriers even with a severely limiting disorder.
These two great minds challenged and changed the way we think and work. The impact they made in their fields is undeniable. Their names have become synonymous with genius and the whole world is inspired by their hard work, motivation, and dedication towards unraveling the mysteries of the universe.
Hawking: The Interstellar Genius
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