Professor Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

It is with great sadness that the London Mathematical Society (LMS) has learned of the death of Professor Stephen Hawking. In the history of the development of general relativity, just a few individuals stand out as having contributed in original, central and fundamental ways.

In 1999 Professor Hawking was awarded the LMS Naylor Prize and Lectureship. He presented his lecture titled Euclidean quantum gravity at the Society Meeting on Friday 20th October 2000. The citation for his Naylor Prize is an eloquent description of some of his major contributions to the field.

‘Stephen Hawking is one of the world's leading theoretical physicists who has contributed many ideas of great mathematical significance and elegance. In particular, he and Roger Penrose were chiefly responsible for the singularity theorems that show in what situations collapse to a singularity is inevitable in classical general relativity. He developed global methods of analysing black holes, and then - in what was one of the most unexpected developments in theoretical physics this century - he discovered the quantum mechanical process by which black holes radiate, known today as Hawking radiation, and which led to the beautiful subject of black hole thermodynamics. He used these ideas to develop the Euclidean approach to quantum gravity, which culminated in famous work with Hartle on the construction of a wave function for the universe’.

The Society would like to pass on its sincere condolences to Professor Hawking’s family and friends.