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- British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author (1942–2018)
A two-minute animation will appear on the Google home page on January 8 to celebrate the life of the theoretical physicist and will be available to view in more than 50 countries.
The Doodle, created by Google art lead Matthew Cruickshank, will take people on a journey through Prof Hawking’s early years and out into space, with the design having been worked on with guidance from the Hawking family and estate, Google said.
Prof Hawking’s theories on the origins and nature of the universe revolutionised modern physics, while his best-selling books helped make the field more widely accessible to millions of people around the world.
One of the most renowned scientists in his field, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1964 at the age of 22 and given just a few years to live.
The father-of-three was later confined to a wheelchair and relied on a computer to communicate, but continued to travel the world to present lectures and further scientific knowledge, before his death at the age of 76 in March 2018.
The Doodle will also feature the voice of Hawking, which has been generated to narrate some of his most impactful quotes, Google said.
“We think he would have loved the Doodle and been very entertained to see his long, distinguished life expressed so creatively in this briefest history of all, a two-minute animation.
Our father would have been 80 years old today and we thank everyone who has joined in the celebration of his extraordinary life and the legacy he gave to us all
Prof Stephen Hawking's children
“We also believe he would have found it important to show that he never allowed the challenges of his physical condition to limit his power of expression nor his determination to make an impact on the world in which he lived.
“We hope that his example offers inspiration and hope globally to all who face great challenges at this difficult time.
“Our father would have been 80 years old today and we thank everyone who has joined in the celebration of his extraordinary life and the legacy he gave to us all.”
The Doodle’s creator, Mr Cruickshank said it had been “particularly exciting and humbling” to work on the design, calling Prof Hawking “one of history’s most influential, scientific minds”.
“The creative challenge lay in including and tying together all of his work: from black holes to the Big Bang, as well as his theories on the origins and mechanics of the universe,” he said.
“And as a British national myself, the creative process felt especially poignant.”