I read a number of appreciation articles this morning, but this Wired piece by Adam Rogers was my favorite.
A few highlights:
He and the physicist Roger Penrose described singularities, mind-bending physical concepts where relativity and quantum mechanics collapse inward on each other—as at the heart of a black hole.
His calculations helped show that as the young universe expanded and grew through inflation, fluctuations at the quantum scale—the smallest possible gradation of matter—became the galaxies we see around us. No human will ever visit another galaxy, and the quantum realm barely waves at us in our technology, but Hawking envisioned them both.
And, perhaps my favorite:
He proved time travel didn’t exist by throwing a party for time travelers, but not sending out invitations until the party was over. No one came.
Notably, Stephen Hawking died on Albert Einstein’s birthday and on Pi-day (3.14).