Stephen Hawking is one of modern science's world's most brilliant minds. Through the years, his works in theoretical physics continue to contribute to the scientific world and leave many in awe of his incredible intelligence, wit, and even sense of humor.
By now, there are many things that we already know about Hawking. For one thing, we know that he's not at all camera shy, as he's guest starred in shows such as The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory. For another, we know that Hawking isn't afraid to speak his mind about his concerns regarding the future of humanity, as well as environmental policies, something that many of his supporters admire about him.
Here are a few other things that you may not know about Stephen Hawking that could just make you love him more.
Hawking Was The Daredevil Of The Oxford Rowing Team
Odd as it may seem, Hawking was indeed a member of the popular Oxford rowing team. From being a shy and awkward university student, his time on the team turned him into a well-liked and popular member of the rowing team.
The then coach described Hawking as the team's daredevil, as he often led the team to risky paths that would result in damaged boats.
He Doesn't Back Down On A Good Bet
First of all, who bets against Stephen Hawking? A fair few, apparently. Hawking apparently likes to play bets with his colleagues and one particularly amusing bet was with his fellow theoretical physicist, Kip Thorne, about black holes.
The wager was that if black holes didn't exist, Thorne would have to pay for Hawking's four-year subscription to Private Eye, a satirical magazine. Should the opposite prove true (as it has) Hawking was to pay for a one-year subscription to Penthouse for Thorne. We know the outcome of that one, and so does Kip Thorne's wife.
'Big Bang' Was Meant To Mock Hawking
The term Big Bang is now known as Hawking's theory about how the universe began. But before it was coined, many physicists believed in another model called the Steady State theory, which states that the universe had been existing forever. When Hawking described his theory, people mocked the idea and called it the "Big Bang."
The name, however, stuck even after he had already proven his theory, possibly contributing to its popularity.
Hawking Has Also Written Children's Books
Hawking is mostly known for his books A Brief History of Time and The Theory of Everything, which is also the title of the Oscar-winning film about Hawking's life. But did you know that he also has a knack for writing children's books?
In 2007, Hawking's book George's Secret Key to the Universe was published, written along with his daughter Lucy Hawking. It was followed by George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt, George and the Big Bang, George and the Unbreakable Code, and George and the Blue Moon.
Hawking turned 75 last Jan. 8, and NASA and other scientific organizations paid tribute by sending a balloon with a birthday greeting for him into the stratosphere.