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Words By Stephen Hawking: Inspirational Quotes From Cosmology's Brightest Star

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Living a long fruitful life after given only a few years to live at the age of 21 is just one of the many feats of Professor Stephen Hawking.

His life and works as a brilliant physicist and cosmologist including Hawking Radiation, his acclaimed books, his study of black holes and the origin of the universe has put him in the brightest spot of modern science.

Apart from his scientific discoveries, Hawking is also best known for his eloquent words and his candid way of communicating science to the public. Here are some of his most inspiring quotes:

On Life And The Universe

Being a scientist, Hawking devoted his entire life in discovering the origin of the universe. He was always open and direct in his views.

"I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realisation that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful."

His book A Brief History Of Time that was published in 1988, was acclaimed for presenting deep science, fundamental physics, and the history of universe's existence to non-scientists.

In the book, Hawking posed questions and answered them.

"My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all."

On why the universe exists, he said:

"If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God."

On Challenges And Disability

He was only 21 and studying at the Cambridge University when he was diagnosed with the degenerative nerve disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease. His doctors gave him only a few years to live but Hawking defied all odds. The disease damaged his muscles and left him in a wheelchair for most of his adult life. He was only able to speak through a voice synthesizer.

Hawking had this to say about his ALS:

"I don't have much positive to say about motor neuron disease. But it taught me not to pity myself, because others were worse off and to get on with what I still could do. I'm happier now than before I developed the condition. I am lucky to be working in theoretical physics, one of the few areas in which disability is not a serious handicap."

"My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus."

"Without imperfection, you or I would not exist," he also said.

In an interview in 2011, Hawking said he's unafraid to die.

"I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first."

On Knowledge And Living

Hawking also gave the most poignant views on living:

"The fact that we humans — who are ourselves mere collections of fundamental particles of nature — have been able to come this close to an understanding of the laws governing us and our universe is a great triumph," he said in an interview.

Probably one of the most referenced quote from Hawking is from his message on this 70th birthday.

"Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious." 

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