The video distills Hawking’s contributions to contemporary theoretical physics into a two minute and forty-four second lesson, much in the same way his best-selling 1988 book A Brief History of Time did.
Hawking’s disability — a motor neuron disease related to ALS — inclines some to think of him as a novelty act, but despite devoting time to popularizing physics and its conundrums, his reputation as one of the preeminent theoretical physicists of the second half of the twentieth century is well-deserved.
As the video demonstrates, he’s largely responsible for proving the existence of black holes, which had previously been thought to be mathematical oddities that existed in theory, but not in space.
But with the advent of instruments capable of detecting what’s called “Hawking radiation,” he proved that black holes and their concomitant terrors do, in fact, exist.
Watch The Guardian video in its entirety below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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