Stephen Hawking, the prodigious British theoretical cosmologist who became an international celebrity, died at his home at Cambridge, U.K., this week at the age of 76.

Hawking, ascended in 1977 to the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, a position once held by Isaac Newton where he spent the rest of his career.

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, a physicist at the University of Cambridge announced at Hawking’s 70th birthday celebration in 2012 that “Stephen has done more to promote the public understanding of cosmology than any other living individual”.

Famed as the most prestigious physicist of the modern era suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a degenerative nerve disease with which he was diagnosed in his 20`s. Despite the rampant incapacity from A.L.S. he insisted that “My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field”.

The disease confined Hawking to a wheelchair for most of his adult life and eventually rendered him capable of speaking only through a computer-controlled voice synthesizer. Nevertheless, Hawking made seminal contributions to astrophysics, particularly in the study of black holes, veritable holes in the fabric of the universe.

Martin Rees, Royal Astronomer of the United Kingdom, and cosmologist at the University of Cambridge, described at his 75th birthday party in Cambridge last year, how “his personality remained amazingly undaunted by his frustrations and handicaps”.

That sentiment was described in frequent quips and inspirational statements that people should “look up at the stars and not down at their feet” and explore the wonders of the world around them: “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed. What matters is that you don’t just give up.”

Scientifically, Hawking’s name will forever be tied to black holes, the ultra-intense gravitational fields left behind when massive stars collapse at infinitesimal points throughout the universe into a negative gravitational point. The essential characteristic function of black holes is that within a certain distance of those points, a negative gravitational force grows so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. He described these counter-intuitive forces as “black-holes” designating them with his mathematical equation: . The symbols of the equation denote the following:

**S** = entropy (a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work)

**h** = Planck constant (the energy of a quantum of electromagnetic radiation divided by its frequency)

**G** = Newton’s constant (universal gravitational constant)

**A** = area of event horizon (a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer)

**c** = speed of light

**k** = Boltzmann’s constant (relates the average kinetic energy of particles in a gas with the temperature of the gas)

That calculation, in a thesis published in 1974 in the journal Nature under the title “Black Hole Explosions?,” is hailed by scientists as the first great landmark in the struggle to find a single theory of nature — to connect gravity and quantum mechanics, those warring descriptions of the large and the small, to explain a universe that seems stranger than anybody had thought.

The discovery of Hawking radiation, as it is known, turned black holes upside down. It transformed them from destroyers to creators — or at least to recyclers — and wrenched the dream of a final theory in a strange, new direction.

“You can ask what will happen to someone who jumps into a black hole,” Hawking said in an interview in 1978. “I certainly don’t think he will survive it”.

“On the other hand,” he added, “if we send someone off to jump into a black hole, neither he nor his constituent atoms will come back, but his mass energy will come back. Maybe that applies to the whole universe.”

Following his initial observation of black holes in 1974 Hawking surmised that Physicists would eventually come to understand through quantum physics that such vacuums of “empty space” consisted of particle-antiparticle pairs flitting in and out of existence, just too quickly to be detected by current technology.

Hawking proposed that within these black-holes, as one particle within the pair was popping into existence, its pair-particle was escaping into distant space. Under the laws of quantum mechanics, the black hole would slowly radiate energy back into space, before eventually evaporating. Together with physicist Roger Penrose, Hawking’s work cemented the case for a fiery *Big Bang starting the universe*.

He requested, that upon discovery of this presumed flux of particles from the black hole back into existence become known as “Hawking radiation”.

He and Jacob Bekenstein, (an Israeli-American theoretical physicist who died in 2015), concluded from their mathematical equation that the interface of the black-holes contained entropy fields proportional to their surface areas. At the interface volume ceased to exist, while mass was infinite.

Hawking radiation has never been observed, however, as it is expected to be far too weak to be spotted with any conceivable technology.

The concept of Black-holes, leading to the “Big-Bang” Theory of Creation, is consistent with the description of Creation by the Kabbalistic School of Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Arizal).

The Black -holes correspond to the “Tzimtzum Ha`Rishon” (the “Initial Contraction”) by which the Infinite Creator chose to create the universe via an apparent contraction in which “He removed Himself”, thereby creating a momentary vacuum into which subsequent creation could occur.

This corresponds to Hawking`s concept of an entropic hole with absent space and Infinite mass from which energy would subsequently radiate.

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, an 18^{th} century Kabbalistic genius (known by his pseudonym “Ramchal” published a little-known work entitled “Dwellings of the Supreme” (Translated from the Hebrew text “Mishkney Elyon”). Central to his theme of creation was that all worlds derive from a point in heavenly “metaspace”.

“There is a special place from which all the branches and roots of creation come together”.

“The universe attains a state of perfection when all the worlds receive the light that emanates from that point in a graded and balanced way, each according to its level in a mode of alignment, balance, and cooperation between Giver and receiver”.

When the Creator decided to create the universe, he arranged the order of creation with His Wisdom. While that Wisdom is signified by a single point, representing the “Yud” of His Exalted Name Y-H-V-H, above that Wisdom is found another Beginning, referred to as His “Desire”, which is totally concealed.

The Ramchal derived this concept from the passage in Ecclesiastics (7:24): “Deep, Deep, who can find it?”

While Hawking, didn`t invoke the name of the Creator, he might well have described this totally hidden and sublime space with his equation which he wanted etched in his tombstone.

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