Stephen Hawking: The Greatest Scientist of Our Time


Transcript Provided by YouTube:

00:00
his computer-generated voice has become
00:01
familiar to generations of people
00:04
instantly garnering recognition as the
00:06
words of a genius his name is uttered in
00:09
the same breath as Einstein and Galileo
00:11
and yet few people can understand the
00:13
complexities of his theories what they
00:16
do know though is that Stephen Hawking
00:17
overcame physical obstacles that would
00:19
have defeated many people and he did
00:22
that in order to pursue his passions in
00:25
the process he became an inspiration to
00:27
millions and added greatly to our
00:30
understanding of the universe in this
00:31
week’s by graphics we undertake a brief
00:33
history of Stephen Hawking and just
00:36
before you get started with the video
00:37
today do you want to say that it’s
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biographic some more about that a little
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later in this video
01:10
[Music]
01:22
Stephen William Hawking was born at the
01:24
height of the Second World War on
01:26
January the 8th 1842 in Oxford England
01:29
it was exactly 300 years after the death
01:32
of the father of astronomy Galileo
01:34
Galilei both of his parents were
01:36
graduates of Oxford University his
01:38
father Frank was a medical researcher
01:40
while his mother Isabelle worked as a
01:42
medical research secretary they were a
01:45
middle-class family with both parents
01:46
being thought of in their community as
01:49
rather odd brain boxes Stephen began his
01:52
schooling at Byron House School in
01:54
Highgate the school used a new
01:56
progressive method of teaching to which
01:58
Stephen did not take he stayed here for
02:00
three years though and by the age of
02:02
eight he could still not read at the
02:05
war’s end
02:05
Frank was offered a job at the National
02:08
Institute of Medical Research and the
02:10
family moved to some talents here Frank
02:12
wanted his son to attends the
02:14
prestigious Westminster School
02:16
however Stephen was sick on the day of
02:17
the entrance exam and he ended up going
02:19
to nearby and Alvin school instead
02:22
Stephen at this school he was seen as a
02:25
nerdy outcast he was small skinny and he
02:28
spoke with a lisp that made it hard to
02:30
understand what he was saying for the
02:32
first two years of his time there he was
02:35
very much a loner in the third year he
02:36
managed to find a small group of
02:38
like-minded friends there
02:40
extracurricular activities included
02:42
going on long bike rides and inventing
02:44
board games Stephen he proved to be the
02:46
most inventive and creative of this
02:48
group and would come up with the rules
02:50
and organize the state of play in these
02:52
games Stephen had two younger sisters
02:55
and brother who was adopted in 1955
02:58
however his parents showed little
03:00
interest in domestic affairs the Hawking
03:02
house was filled with books and the
03:04
parents were too busy feeding their
03:06
minds often reading books during dinner
03:09
rather than conversing with their
03:10
children Stephen regularly had his
03:12
friends over where they would busy
03:14
themselves building model planes and
03:16
electronic devices from about the age of
03:19
12 onwards their discussions extended
03:21
from science to religion they debated
03:24
the big questions of life among
03:26
themselves and it was at this time that
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Stephen began forming his atheistic
03:30
beliefs Stephens teachers they soon
03:32
identified a remarkable talent from
03:35
automatics and physics in him he seems
03:37
to intuitively know the answers without
03:39
having to work through the problem by
03:41
the age of 14 he knew that he wanted to
03:43
specialize in physics he felt that he
03:45
could provide an insight into the big
03:47
questions that he and his friends have
03:49
been grappling with where we are all
03:51
from why we are here and where we’re
03:54
going
04:00
at the age of 17 Stephen felt ready to
04:03
take the entrance exam for university
04:05
college at Oxford the exam was extremely
04:07
challenging consisting of five papers
04:09
and a general knowledge exam Hawking
04:11
came out with a score of 95 percent once
04:15
again though he found himself as an
04:17
outsider at this prestigious place of
04:19
learning he had no friends and so he
04:21
kept to himself
04:22
furthermore they found the lectures to
04:24
be too basic for him which led to
04:26
boredom he stopped going to many of them
04:28
and still easily passed his exams
04:30
the only lectures that he got any
04:32
intellectual challenge from were those
04:34
presented by his physics tutor Robert
04:37
Berman Hawking was well ahead of his
04:39
fellow students despite being much young
04:42
of many of them his knowledge was so
04:43
advanced that he occasionally made
04:45
corrections in the very textbooks that
04:47
he was studying at the end of his second
04:49
year he easily won the university
04:51
physics prize while at Oxford Stephen
04:54
took up the sport of rowing rowing was
04:56
and still is a very serious business at
04:58
Oxford University and Stephen threw
05:01
himself into it with complete
05:02
commitments he became a coxswain the
05:05
person who yells instructions to the
05:07
rowers he simply loved the thrill of
05:09
guiding his team to success it was his
05:13
involvement in the rowing team which
05:14
allowed Stephens a break out of his
05:16
isolation and develop some budding
05:17
friendships by the time that his old
05:19
school mates from since albuns turned up
05:21
as freshmen they were surprised to
05:23
discover that the awkward boy that they
05:25
knew had become a confident young man
05:27
who had found a comfortable niche for
05:29
himself at Oxford in fact he became so
05:31
immersed in the social life of his
05:32
environments that despite his innate
05:34
ability he began to fall back
05:36
academically with his third year exams
05:39
approaching he quickly realized that he
05:40
was not fully prepared he decided that
05:42
his best bet was to focus solely on the
05:45
theoretical problems that he could solve
05:47
using his innate skill the results of
05:49
the exam had him teetering between a
05:52
first and second class honours degree he
05:54
needed it to be first class in order to
05:56
gain admittance to Cambridge where he
05:57
planned to begin his work on his PhD the
06:00
result depended on a final oral exam
06:02
which she aced gaining first class
06:04
honors before heading off to Cambridge
06:06
Hawking took a trip to Iran with a
06:08
friend he began at Cambridge in October
06:11
of 1962 while he had been expecting to
06:14
directly under the guidance of the
06:15
famous astronomer Fred how this was
06:18
actually not to be the case he was
06:20
disappointed to find out that his tuner
06:22
was actually Dennis schema the reality
06:25
of the situation was though the Hawking
06:26
was actually better off on the skier man
06:28
who had more time to guide his students
06:31
than Hoyle would have had Hawking
06:33
specialized in the study of cosmology it
06:36
was now that he faced his first real
06:38
intellectual challenge he quickly
06:40
realized that his mathematical knowledge
06:42
was not deep enough for him to really
06:44
get to grips with the complications of
06:47
Einstein’s general theory of relativity
06:50
[Music]
06:55
at about this time hawking began to
06:58
experience some physical abnormalities
07:00
his speech was starting to slur and he
07:03
was prone to losing his balance when he
07:05
returns home for the 1962 Christmas
07:07
holidays his parents were so concerned
07:09
that they sent him to a specialist a
07:11
series of tests were undertaken and then
07:14
it was simply a matter of waiting for
07:16
the results
07:16
in the meantime Hawking attended a New
07:18
Year’s Eve party where he met a young
07:20
lady by the name of Jane Wilde Jane was
07:23
attracted to the eccentric young
07:24
intellectual and the two struck up an
07:26
immediate attraction Stephen had already
07:29
returned to Cambridge when the results
07:31
of the tests came through he had
07:33
developed ALS which is also known as Lou
07:35
Gehrig’s disease
07:36
it’s a condition in which the body’s
07:38
cells to generate causing paralysis and
07:41
muscle atrophy yes while the body
07:43
deteriorates the brain is unaffected so
07:46
walking now at the prospect of being
07:48
trapped within a dysfunctional body the
07:51
prognosis related to Hawking was that he
07:53
had just two years to live the symptoms
07:56
that he experienced in the first few
07:58
months were weakness stammering while
08:00
speaking and having trouble swallowing
08:02
Hawking later reflected on his feelings
08:04
at the time a disease which can never be
08:06
healed I’m in the clutches of the
08:08
disease which is calling me closer to my
08:11
death the thought itself used to bring
08:13
cramps of fear in the stomach why have I
08:16
only been caught by just disease Stevens
08:20
doctors and his parents advised him to
08:22
continue his studies at Cambridge they
08:24
believed that staying focused on the
08:25
goal of achieving his PhD would help him
08:28
to cope with the pain and frustration of
08:30
dealing with his failing body but
08:32
Hawking struggled with the idea that he
08:33
was working so hard for a reward that he
08:36
would probably not live to receive what
08:38
was the point is the question that kept
08:40
dancing around in the back of his brain
08:42
it has been reported the Hawking fell
08:45
into a deep depression at this time he
08:47
was spending his days drinking and
08:48
listening to Wagner in a student flats
08:50
however the man himself actually later
08:52
denied this assertion he certainly went
08:55
into a period of confusion and lack of
08:57
focus but he also did his best to
08:59
continue with the studies after a year
09:01
his symptoms had stabilized and his
09:03
spirits began to pick up it was also
09:05
this time that he picked up his real
09:07
with Jane walls he became a great
09:08
supporter and encouraged her of him it
09:11
was she who gave him a glimmer of hope
09:13
for a brighter future the two became
09:15
engaged in October of 1964 Jane had
09:19
committed herself to looking after
09:20
Steven for the rest of his life and they
09:22
were married on July the 14th 1965 after
09:26
two years of living with the disease
09:28
Hawking was able to get around on a cane
09:30
though this speech was becoming
09:31
increasingly unintelligible he was still
09:34
searching for an area of focus for his
09:35
thesis Fred Hoyle has just pronounced
09:38
his theories on the discovery of the
09:39
universe and Hawking believed that
09:41
Boyle’s theory was flawed and he
09:43
publicly challenged these theories he
09:45
then proceeded to write his thesis on
09:47
the topic and it was well received by
09:49
the cosmology community it was this that
09:51
really established talking as a player
09:53
of note in the field
09:59
[Music]
10:01
after graduating from Cambridge with a
10:03
PhD in Applied Mathematics and
10:05
theoretical physics hawking applied form
10:07
and received a fellowship at Cambridge
10:09
is gone villain Keyes College this
10:11
provided him with a secure job which
10:13
gave him further confidence in his
10:15
future yes his condition had now reached
10:17
the stage where he could no longer write
10:19
so he had to rely on Jane to record his
10:21
thoughts Hawking’s job at the college
10:23
required him to supervise students for a
10:25
few hours every day providing him with
10:27
plenty of time to pursue his research
10:29
studies he and Jane set up their home in
10:31
a small house not far from the college
10:33
they enjoyed entertaining friends and
10:35
the house was often filled with dinner
10:37
guests in December of 1965 Hawking was
10:39
invited to the United States to give an
10:41
address at a Miami conference however
10:43
his speech was so slurred that a friend
10:46
had to read the address on his behalf
10:47
the speech though it was well received
10:49
further cementing his growing reputation
10:51
as an exciting new thinker in the world
10:54
of cosmology Marjane spends a lot of
10:56
time and effort caring for her husband
10:58
she had given up on her own career when
11:00
the couple had met she was in the midst
11:02
of a degree in Modern Languages she
11:03
completed that degree in 1967 that year
11:06
she also gave birth to their first child
11:08
Robert two more children would follow
11:10
Lucy in 1970 and Timothy in 1979 the
11:13
birth of his first child was a further
11:15
motivator for Hawking to positively
11:17
toward the future despite the fact that
11:19
it already outlived his initial
11:21
prognosis he had a family now along with
11:23
a promising career as a budding genius
11:25
in fact some were even already calling
11:28
him the successor to Einstein
11:35
the turning points in Hawking’s career
11:37
occurred when he attended a lecture by
11:39
mathematician Robert Penrose in the
11:42
address
11:42
Penrose expounded his theory of
11:44
space-time singularity in the center of
11:46
a black hole
11:46
Hawking latched on to the pan or a
11:48
singularity theory and applied it to the
11:50
entire universe if he could prove the
11:53
mathematics behind it he knew that this
11:55
would be a momentous addition to the
11:57
understanding of the origins of the
11:59
universe mathematics was Hawking strong
12:01
points so he collaborated with Penrose
12:03
who presented his calculations by way of
12:06
visual representations in order to help
12:08
Hawking who was unable to record the
12:10
calculations himself the Big Bang Theory
12:12
was predicated on the idea that the
12:14
universe was not static but actually
12:17
continually expanding according to this
12:19
theory the universe began as a black
12:21
hole that was held together by gravity
12:23
the egg at the center of the hole it was
12:26
extremely hot and as it cooled over
12:28
billions of years it started to expand
12:30
with the protons neutrons and electrons
12:32
forming the Stars and the galaxies which
12:35
make up our visible universe
12:37
Hawking he was not the originator of
12:40
this new theory but his work such as the
12:42
sa singularities and the geometry of
12:44
space-time gave it a strong underpinning
12:48
[Music]
12:53
by the end of the 1960’s Hawking’s ALS
12:56
had deteriorated to the point where he
12:58
had become wheelchair-bound
12:59
the intense speed of his mental
13:01
cognition however caused him to move
13:03
around with maximum speed in this
13:05
wheelchair it also caused him to quickly
13:07
become impatient and irritable with
13:09
those around him despite his raw
13:11
temperament seem actually became very
13:13
popular with students and colleagues
13:15
alike in the early 1970s Hawking took on
13:18
the task of reconciling the two opposing
13:21
theories that had divided physics for
13:24
years quantum mechanics and relativity
13:27
during his work he discovered that black
13:29
holes in it radiation he published this
13:31
finding in an article in nature magazine
13:33
there was initially some push back to
13:35
this but eventually his finding was
13:37
accepted and it came to be known as
13:39
Hawking radiation the discovery of black
13:41
hole radiation was a big deal and it led
13:44
to publicity beyond the scientific
13:46
community Hawking was now receiving
13:48
general media attention giving rise to
13:50
the fame which would see him lauded as
13:52
the wheelchair genius in 1973 Hawking
13:56
published his first book the large-scale
13:58
structure of space-time the following
14:01
year at 32 he became one of the youngest
14:03
people to become a member of the Royal
14:05
Society in 1974 he was also invited to
14:09
spend the year at the California
14:10
Institute of Technology yeah he was able
14:13
to make use of the very best equipment
14:15
including the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
14:16
that is attached to the Institute during
14:19
his year in America he was able to work
14:21
alongside famous American theoretical
14:23
physicists kept Thorne the Hawking
14:26
family thoroughly enjoyed their year in
14:28
sunny California over the years Stephen
14:30
would frequently return to Caltech to
14:32
make use of their advanced facilities at
14:34
the end of their time in the US the
14:36
family returned to Cambridge where they
14:38
moved into a bigger house on the college
14:40
grounds in 1976 as students in residence
14:42
by the name of Don Paige joined the
14:44
Hawking household page you would walk
14:47
walking to this office every morning and
14:49
perform other caretaking jobs around
14:51
this time Jane began to feel confined by
14:54
her life as a mother and wife to a
14:56
wheelchair-bound husband with Paige now
14:58
on hand to help out with Stevens care
15:00
she embarked upon a PhD in
15:02
evil Spanish poetry once she gained it
15:05
she began teaching at Cambridge
15:07
University the couple began experiencing
15:10
marital problems from the mid-1970s one
15:12
cause of their dis court was the wildly
15:15
divergent religious views that each held
15:17
Jane was a committed Christian while
15:19
Stephen he was a confirmed atheist the
15:22
relationship remained strained until
15:24
their divorce in 1995 in 1976 Hawking
15:28
was invited to a number of conferences
15:30
around the United States following which
15:32
he ended up on TV talk shows though his
15:34
speech was difficult to understand he
15:36
did prove hit with American audiences in
15:39
1979 Hawking was appointed Lucasian
15:42
Professor of mathematics at Cambridge
15:43
this position brought great prestige
15:45
with the couple now being the center of
15:48
the Cambridge social elite Hawking
15:50
enjoyed attending concerts and movies
15:52
and despite his physical limitations he
15:54
was enjoying his life more than ever
15:56
before still he became disappointed at
15:58
the lack of facilities for handicapped
16:00
people in the community and became an
16:02
advocate for disabled facilities in 1983
16:05
a BBC horizon documentary gave TV
16:07
viewers an insight into the private life
16:09
of the wheelchair genius this went a
16:11
long way in promoting his celebrity
16:13
status in 1984 he put out several
16:16
feelers to publishing houses to write a
16:18
definitive book of his theories for a
16:20
lay audience Bantam publishing offered
16:22
him a 250 thousand dollar advance it
16:25
took four years do you produce the book
16:27
which he called a brief history of time
16:29
it became an instant bestseller and to
16:31
date has sold more than 10 million
16:34
copies in July of 1985 Hawking was in
16:37
Geneva when he found himself unable to
16:40
breathe after arriving in the hospital
16:42
he underwent tracheotomy surgery the
16:44
surgery it was a success but the payoff
16:46
was that he lost his voice the challenge
16:49
was now how to provide Hawking with a
16:51
way to communicate with the world and
16:53
this was solved by a computer programmer
16:55
by the name of Walt Walters his
16:58
equaliser program allowed Hawking to
16:59
select words from a screen that would
17:01
then be converted into a voice
17:03
synthesizer
17:10
from the early 1980s onwards Hawking and
17:13
employed full-time nurses by the end of
17:15
the decade he had become alarmingly
17:17
close to one of them a woman by the name
17:18
of Alain Mason she was a woman with a
17:21
dominance and protective personality in
17:23
early 1990 Hawking told Jane that he was
17:26
leaving the family home and moving in
17:28
with Elaine
17:29
Mason was herself married to a family
17:31
friend at that time Hawking instituted
17:34
divorce proceedings to officially end
17:36
his marriage to Jane when the divorce
17:38
came through in 1995 he and Elaine were
17:40
married in the ensuing years there were
17:42
rumors that Elaine was physically
17:44
controlling and abusive to her husbands
17:46
after eleven years the marriage ended in
17:48
his autobiography Hawking referred to
17:51
his years with Elaine as passionate and
17:53
tempestuous in the 1990s Hawking became
17:57
interested in time-travel he was of the
17:59
opinion that the only possible way for
18:01
time-travel to exist would be if it did
18:03
not alter the status quo in other words
18:06
if a time-travel machine could be
18:07
created in the future people would only
18:09
be able to travel back until the time
18:12
when that machine was created because
18:13
prior to that time the machine did not
18:16
exist many people they rejected
18:18
Hawking’s ideas on time-travel and in
18:20
order to prove his point in an
18:21
irreverent
18:22
way he decided to hold a party which was
18:24
open to anyone and served free food and
18:27
champagne the catch was that he only
18:29
advertised the events after it had
18:31
occurred so only time travelers would be
18:34
aware of it
18:34
unsurprisingly though no one turned up
18:37
in the early 2000s Hawking focused on
18:39
publishing more popular books starting
18:42
with 2000 and ones that universe in a
18:43
nutshell and in 2005 he put out a brief
18:46
history of time both of which were
18:49
bestsellers by then his iconic status
18:51
was well established being cemented with
18:53
appearances on The Simpsons and Star
18:56
Trek The Next Generation
19:02
by 2005 Hawking’s condition had
19:05
deteriorated to the extent that he could
19:07
only control his speech controls with
19:09
movements of his cheek muscles from 2009
19:12
he could no longer move his electric
19:14
wheelchair himself and his breathing
19:16
became increasingly difficult the end
19:18
game peacefully on the morning of March
19:20
the 14th 2018 it was the one hundred and
19:23
thirty ninth anniversary of the birth of
19:25
Albert Einstein Stephen Hawking was a
19:28
professor at one of the best
19:30
universities in the world since he was a
19:32
man who shared his knowledge with the
19:34
world through books that could be
19:35
understood by everyday folks and that’s
19:37
why I’m particularly pleased that the
19:39
great courses plus is involved with
19:41
today’s video on their learning platform
19:43
you can learn from Ivy League professors
19:44
and others as they give lectures online
19:47
these can be a great way to learn about
19:49
some of the concepts that Hawking works
19:51
on including lectures about black holes
19:53
and quantum physics but there’s also
19:56
plenty of other stuff on there from
19:57
history to travel to health basically
20:00
it’s really a university education but
20:02
it’s at your own pace with no tests and
20:04
no schedules and it’s also very easy to
20:07
access you can do it on your PC on your
20:09
tablet even on your phone
20:10
they’ve even recently added streaming so
20:12
you can listen on the move something I
20:14
particularly love I just pop the audio
20:16
in when I’m walking around or going for
20:18
a jog and on the platform there are
20:20
currently 10,000 lectures then you can
20:22
choose from so yeah it’s all great stuff
20:24
and the best way to find that out is to
20:26
try it for yourself and you can do that
20:28
for free by going to you the great
20:29
courses plus comm forward slash
20:31
biographic s’ or simply clicking the
20:34
link in the description below and doing
20:36
that does help support this show getting
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more biographic out to you every week so
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again the great courses plus it’s just a
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great way to expand your knowledge on a
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whole range of subjects taught by the
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best in the world and as always I really
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hope you enjoyed that video please do
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give it a thumbs up if you did and don’t
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forget to subscribe also hit that Bell
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button because subscribe doesn’t really
20:57
do anything anymore so if you actually
20:59
want to find out when we put out new
21:01
videos you got to hit that Bell it’s
21:03
just the way it goes and as always thank
21:05
you for watching


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Photo credit: Screenshot from video.

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