World renowned scientist Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

Physician Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.

His family have confirmed that he passed peacefully at his home in Cambridge.

STEPHEN HAWKING

Stephen Hawking died aged 76 Image Credit: StarChild Learning Center

The British Physicist is most known for his work on black holes and expanding the theory of general relativity. He has published many works including his book “A brief history of time.” which has sold over 10 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 35 languages.

At the age of 22, Hawking was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease, a degenerative illness which effects the brain and nervous system. At the time he was given only a few years to live. However this did not prevent him from continuing to work and teach physics in the University of Cambridge and also present findings in many institutions across the world.

He was known for trying to inspire young minds to take an interest in physics, appearing in many hit TV shows including The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons and Futurama.

In a statement today his family said:

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired many people across the world.”

 

 

 


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Successful first launch for Space X’s Heavy Falcon

‘Starman’ orbiting Earth in a 2008 Tesla Roadster | Photo Credit: Space X/Youtube

Elon Musk’s latest test rocket, the Falcon Heavy, has blasted off from Cape Canaveral, in a historic launch.

The departure of the rocket was risky, with only a 50% chance of a successful lift off, according to the Space X CEO.

After the event he said that he had imagined: “a giant explosion on the pad, a wheel bouncing down the road.”

However, after the Falcon Heavy made its debut, it became the most capable launch vehicle available.

An astonishing live stream of the rocket blasting off from the Kennedy Center in Florida and proceeding to orbit the Earth, has been viewed a massive 5 million times since it began last night.

 

The aim of this launch was to blast a car, Musk’s 2008 cherry red Tesla, with a mannequin in the driver seat, towards Mars’ orbit.

The mannequin, named ‘Starman’, shot to space with David Bowie’s Life on Mars playing in the background, with the intention of orbiting Mars.

Musk referred to this approach as “kind of silly and fun”, but added he thinks “silly and fun things are important.”

Musk has admitted that ‘Starman’ has ventured further than initially planned, because Space X burned one of the boosters for too long.

He tweeted: “Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt.”

Elon Musk tweeted about the success of the launch | Photo Credit: @elonmusk on Twitter

The final fate of the car is unknown – its journey may last a billion years and may take it as far as 250 miles from Earth, which is the equivalent of 10,000 trips around the equator.

The only other blip in the launch was the launchers central booster, which failed to return safely to Earth, unlike the two side boosters.

Musk said that it had crashed into the Atlantic at 300mph, missing the floating landing platform.

 

Can we Trump climate change?

A 7.6 magnitude Earthquake struck the Caribbean sea on Tuesday, causing a Tsunami warning to be issued for the already disaster-struck Puerto Rico, as well as the British and US Virgin Islands.

The US Tsunami Center later cancelled this alert, although they still warn of waves of up to a metre high in parts of Honduras and Belize. The Earthquake hit at approximately 10:52pm, local time, and was felt at least as far as north of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, but no damage was immediately felt.

Aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Credit: US DoD

Further natural disasters also struck North America, with heavy rain hitting the hills of Santa Barbara prompting horrendous mudslides. At least 13 people have been killed and more than two dozen have been injured in the West of Los Angeles. One boy was swept hundreds of yards in the mud before being rescued under a freeway overpass. A 14-year-old girl was also rescued after being buried in mud. It is the area’s heaviest rainstorm in nearly a year following the state’s largest wildfire on record.

These reoccurring natural disasters have made incidents like road closures, evacuations, broken power lines, rescues and searches a routine in America. So what’s the cause and solution of these increasingly occurring natural disasters?

It’s no coincidence that the US is less than prepared for these reoccurring disasters following many republican elected officials’ wanting to stop funding climate science, meaning they won’t be prepared for these sorts of repeated environmental procedures.

I’m eager to see how Trump plans on helping the people of Puerto Rico once again after his abysmal display of throwing paper towels into a crowd of desperate, disaster stricken citizens, following Hurricane Maria. He also, ‘honoured’ the people of Puerto Rico by dedicating a golf trophy to them. Just what they needed. I’d say a golf trophy is just as essential to the people of Puerto Rico as another hurricane.

It will be interesting to see his response to the mudslides in California compared to Hurricane Maria as Puerto Ricans’ have repeatedly stated they feel like second class citizens – implying a disregard for the islands of America, not the states. The inefficiency of Trump’s aid and preparation for climate change disasters is baffling.

Research makes it very clear that the planet has reached a new threshold in which climate change has become not only a component of extreme weather disasters but an essential factor for some. Trump and the republicans are oblivious to these issues as they set out to cut funding for research.

I realise these disasters aren’t unique to the US but the amount of climate change cataclysms that have taken place in such a small amount of time in America, in addition to the ignorance of Trump, makes the US’s situation all the more prominent.  It’s as if he is trying to figure out which is worse, apathy or ignorance, but then he realised he doesn’t know and doesn’t care.

In the past, the Presidents’ responses to these sorts of tragedies have been vital in deciding their overall approval ratings. So Mr. Trump, stop implying that people trying to rebuild their country are lazy, stop playing golf (the only sport with an actual assistant) and grasp this opportunity to improve your disgraceful approval rating, sincerely aid the increasingly deprived victims of these natural disasters and actually fund climate science so you’re more prepared for these catastrophes – and perhaps even decrease their occurrences.

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