Stephen Hawking's scientific investigations have shed light on the origins of the cosmos, the nature of time and the ultimate fate of the universe. His bestselling books for a general audience have given an appreciation of physics to millions.

Why you should listen

Stephen Hawking is perhaps the world's most famous living physicist. A specialist in cosmology and quantum gravity and a devotee of black holes, his work has probed the origins of the cosmos, the nature of time and the universe's ultimate fate -- earning him accolades including induction into the Order of the British Empire. To the public, he's best known as an author of bestsellers such as The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time, which have brought an appreciation of theoretical physics to millions.

Though the motor neuron disorder ALS has confined Hawking to a wheelchair, it hasn't stopped him from lecturing widely, making appearances on television shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Simpsons -- and planning a trip into orbit with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. (He recently experienced weightlessness aboard Zero Gravity Corporation's "Vomit Comet.") A true academic celebrity, he uses his public appearances to raise awareness about potential global disasters -- such as global warming -- and to speak out for the future of humanity: "Getting a portion of the human race permanently off the planet is imperative for our future as a species," he says.

Hawking serves as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, where he continues to contribute to both high-level physics and the popular understanding of our universe.

What others say

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” — Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking’s TED talks

Stephen Hawking on the TED Blog
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TED Prize

Canada gives $20M to expand AIMS across Africa

July 6, 2010

Today in Ontario, Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, announced $20 million CDN in federal funding to expand the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) into five new locations across Africa by 2015, including Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal. AIMS was founded by TED Prize winner Neil Turok, the director of the Perimeter Institute in […]

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Hawking makes $100 bet that the LHC won't find Higgs

September 9, 2008

Dr. Stephen Hawking has made a $100 bet that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, which throws its first beam tomorrow, will not find the elusive particle knows as the Higgs boson. What makes the Higgs the most highly sought-after particle in physics? In his TEDTalk, Brian Cox describes the Higgs particle “in language a […]

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Quotes from Stephen Hawking

Issuing an insurance policy against abduction by aliens seems a pretty safe bet.
Stephen Hawking
TED2008 • 6.3M views Apr 2008
Fascinating, Inspiring