Stephen Hawking entered Addenbrookes Hospital on April 20 to treat a chest infection. The world-renowned physicist, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is "comfortable," according to the hospital. Hawking is perhaps most famous for his bestselling book "A Brief History of Time," as well as an appearance on "The Simpsons."
Stephen Hawking was admitted to a Cambridge
hospital April 20 in "very ill" condition related to a chest
infection. According to a statement issued by Cambridge
University, the famous physicist is
now comfortable, "and his family is looking forward to him making a full
Hawking is perhaps most famous for his bestselling book "A Brief
History of Time," a tome for the popular audience that tackles the big questions
of physics in an accessible way. Hawking has also become a fixture within pop
culture ,and he has made numerous appearances on television shows as diverse as
the "The Simpsons" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
The 67-year-old physicist has spent most of his life affected by amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou
Gehrig's Disease, which has almost completely paralyzed his body and requires
that he communicate through an electronic voice synthesizer. He was originally
diagnosed in 1963.
Despite the paralysis, Hawking managed to not only delve into the mysteries
of black holes, multidimensional universes and other phenomena, but take a 2007
"Vomit Comet" plane ride in which he experienced zero gravity,
floating free of his wheelchair.
"Many people have asked me why I am taking this flight," Hawking
said at the time. "First of all, I believe that life on Earth is at an
ever increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as sudden global
warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think
the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space. I therefore want to
encourage public interest in space."
Born on Jan. 8, 1942, on the 300th
anniversary of the death of astronomer Galileo Galilei, Hawking has spent years
pursuing a unified theory that unites Einstein's General Theory of Relativity
with the Theory of Quantum Physics. He currently serves as Lucasian Professor
of Mathematics at Cambridge, a post
held previously by the one and only Isaac Newton.