Vale Professor Stephen Hawking

Vale Stephen Hawking : All Time Best Quotes by One of History’s Greatest Scientists

Professor Stephen Hawking


Perth and Australia joins the world in marking the passing of Stephen Hawking, who died today aged 76.

“Professor Hawking was a great man & will forever be thought of in the same light as Newton, Einstein, Galileo & Copernicus as great minds of their era,” Perth Observatory tweeted, moments after the news broke.

So, why was Hawking so revered and important in human history? And how can we celebrate him? Perhaps through understanding his work and inspiring ourselves to seek something greater. One of the best ways to do so, is to read his works and highlight some of his most inspiring words.

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Bridging Science and Culture

Hawking bridged our scientific understanding of physics and the cosmos, with popular culture and new media communications, writing a number of best selling books, including ‘A Brief History of Time’ that enthralled and inspired so many, along with documentaries and movies. He also appeared in numerous TV shows including The Simpsons, Red Dwarf and The Big Bang Theory.

Hawking on the set of hit of 2010’s TV comedy, The Big Bang Theory

Scientific Achievements

  • Professor Stephen Hawking was the first to set out a grand theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics. His work on black holes helped us discover that they actually leak energy and fade to nothing – a phenomenon known as Hawking radiation.
  • His work with mathematician Sir Roger Penrose – on Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity – implies space and time has a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes. The ideas also form part of a new theory that there are alternative Universes to our own.
  • With James Hartle, Stephen Hawking published a model known as the Hartle–Hawking state in 1983. It proposed that time didn’t exist before the Big Bang and hence the concept of the beginning of the universe is meaningless.
  • Hawking worked on the concept of cosmic inflation – a theory in physical cosmology which proposes that following the Big Bang, the universe expanded exponentially before settling down to slower expansion.
  • In 2006, Stephen Hawking, along with Thomas Hertog of CERN, proposed a theory of “top-down cosmology”. It proposed that the universe had not one unique initial state but consisted of a superposition of many possible initial conditions.

Remembering Hawking Through His Words

As the world mourns the loss of one of the all time scientific greats, we should always “remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.” – as Hawking once said.

To remember a man who helped all humankind understand the extraordinary discoveries and mysteries of our Universe, here’s a list of some of Stephen Hawking’s most memorable quotes.

Stephen Hawking with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Hawkings’ all time great quotes

  1. “It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. Its a crazy world out there. Be curious.”
  2. “My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”
  3. “I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”
  4. “The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognized. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away.”
  5. “Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”
  6. “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
  7. “Aggression, humanity’s greatest vice, will destroy civilisation.”
  8. “My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically.”
  9. “People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.”
  10. “One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”
  11. “It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years.”
  12. “So next time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”
  13. “We are all different, but we share the same human spirit. Perhaps it’s human nature that we adapt and survive.”
  14. “If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I’m not.”
  15. “I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Occasionally, I find an answer.”
  16. “I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”
  17. “Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious, and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
  18. “It is a waste of time to be angry about my disability. One has to get on with life and I haven’t done badly. People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”
  19. “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”
  20. “Some people would claim that things like love, joy and beauty belong to a different category from science and can’t be described in scientific terms, but I think they can now be explained by the theory of evolution.”
  21. “Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humour.”
  22. “I have so much that I want to do. I hate wasting time.”
  23. “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark” – Stephen Hawking.

Professor Stephen Hawking 1942 – 2018