Stephen Hawking's ashes will be among esteemed company in the scientific community as they will be buried near Sir Isaac Newton's grave, which is also near Charles Darwin's, at Westminster Abbey.
The burial ceremony will take place during Thanksgiving service later this year.
Stephen Hawking's Funeral
The world-renowned physicist and cosmologist died on March 14 at age 76. His funeral is set to take place at Great St. Mary's, the University Church in Cambridge on March 31, according to his family. It will be a private funeral service. The site is close to Gonville and Caius College where Hawking was a fellow.
Hawking's three adult children shared their reasons for holding his service in Cambridge. Lucy, Robert, and Tim said that their father was an integral part of the Cambridge community, both in the city and the university, and added that his work meant a lot to people of different backgrounds, whether scientific or religious.
The Dean of Westminster, Dr. John Hall, said that it is fitting for Stephen Hawking to be buried at Westminster Abbey as his work is vital to science and religion, and that Hawking will be in good company when he is interred at the historical church.
Hall Of Scientists
Hawking's grave will be right near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton, who was buried at Westminster Abbey in 1727. Right near Newton is the grave of Charles Darwin, who was buried at Westminster Abbey in 1882. He was also given a prominent place near Sir Isaac Newton.
The three honored scientists aren't the only ones buried at Westminster Abbey. Atomic scientists Ernest Rutherford and Joseph John Thomson were buried there in 1937 and in 1940, respectively. Dr. John Hall said that it is vital for science and religion to work together to answer the questions about the mysteries of life and the universe.
Another prominent physicist buried at Westminster Abbey is James Prescott Joule, who studied the nature of heat. His work led to the discovery of the law of conservation of energy, which resulted in the development of the first law of thermodynamics.
Geoffrey Chaucer is also buried at Westminster Abbey. Although he's known for his contributions to English literature, he was also an astronomer during his time. He also wrote an instructional manual on the use of the astrolabe, an early scientific instrument used for observational purposes of celestial bodies. Chaucer also described a real astronomical event in one of his stories.