Stephen Hawking
Reuters

Legendary physicist and space scientist Stephen Hawking is celebrating his 76th birthday today. Born on January 8, 1942, Hawking is now widely regarded as an unquestionable name in the world of cosmology, and even in his old age, he surprises space buffs with his assumptions about aliens, black holes and 'The Theory of Everything'. On his birthday, let us check out some interesting facts about Hawking and his life.

Is Stephen Hawking the reincarnation of Galileo Galilei?

This statement may seem a bit outlandish, but there are several factors which make us think that Stephen Hawking may be the reincarnation of Galileo Galilei, if and only if there is something called 'rebirth'. Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, a date which marks the 300th death anniversary of Galileo Galilei.

Interestingly, there are many similarities in the theories put forward by both Stephen Hawking and Galileo Galilei. Galileo's championing of heliocentrism and Copernicanism were not well received by sceptics and religious leaders, and in the same manner, Stephen Hawking's urge to unveil the mysteries surrounding the beginning of the universe was met with backlash by Pope Francis II in 2006. According to reports, during a cosmology conference at the Vatican, Pope Francis II has asked Hawking to stop exploring the beginning of universe as the origins were the work of God.

An ordinary childhood

Even though Stephen Hawking is a legendary figure now, he was just an average student during his childhood. He was just average in academics and used to get median grades in examinations. But many times, Hawking showed his ability to think out of the box during classes, which eventually garnered him the name 'Albert Einstein'.

In the course of time, he proved himself as an impeccable physicist and now he is the 17th Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, an academic chair at Cambridge University, the position which was held by Sir Isaac Newton from 1669 to 1702.

Stephen Hawking's speech synthesizer is 31 years old

Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with the motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 1963. Later, he became totally paralyzed, lost control of his vocals, and now he is capable of moving just only a few fingers on one hand. Since then, he is using a speech synthesizer to talk.

Even though Hawking hails from the United Kingdom, his computerized voice synthesizer makes him speak the American accent. Interestingly, Hawking has been using this same device made in 1986 for the past 31 years. Hawking has previously revealed that he did not want to change the speech synthesizer as he has not heard a voice he likes more than this.

Stephen Hawking is an actor too

In 1993, Stephen Hawking played a holographic simulation of himself in an episode of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. He also played guest roles in television series like 'Futurama' and 'The Big Bang Theory'.