World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76. He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said. The Briton was known for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time. At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease.
The illness left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesiser.
In a statement his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said: "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.
体育投注网站注的孩子Lucy, Robert a还有Tim在声明中说道“敬爱的父亲在今天去世了，我们都万分的悲痛。
"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years."
They praised his "courage and persistence" and said his "brilliance and humour" inspired people across the world.
"He once said, "It would not be much of a universe if it wasn"t home to the people you love." We will miss him forever."
Prof Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics.
He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing - a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation.
Through his work with mathematician Sir Roger Penrose he demonstrated that Einstein"s General Theory of Relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes.
The scientist gained popularity outside the academic world and appeared in several TV shows including The Simpsons, Red Dwarf and The Big Bang Theory.
The vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge - where Prof Hawking had studied and worked - Professor Stephen Toope, said he was a "unique individual" who would be remembered with "warmth and affection".
He added: "His exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and the popularisation of science and mathematics have left an indelible legacy. His character was an inspiration to millions."
Apple"s co-founder Steve Wozniak said: "Stephen Hawking"s integrity and scientific dedication placed him above pure brilliance,"
苹果公司的联合创始人Steve Wozniak说“Stephen Hawking正直的品格和对科学的奉献让他超越了自己纯粹的才华，”
In his 2013 memoir he described how he felt when first diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
"I felt it was very unfair - why should this happen to me," he wrote.
"At the time, I thought my life was over and that I would never realise the potential I felt I had. But now, 50 years later, I can be quietly satisfied with my life."
Speaking to the BBC in 2002, his mother, Isobelle, described him as a "very normal young man".
She said: "He liked parties. He liked pretty girls - only pretty ones. He liked adventure and he did, to some extent, like work."