Editorial : 16-03-2018

Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

Few scientists manage to break down the walls of the so-called ivory tower of academia and touch and inspire people who may not otherwise be interested in science. Stephen Hawking was one of these few. Judging(आंकना/निर्णय करना) by the odds(सहूलियत/अंतर) he faced as a young graduate student of physics at Cambridge University, nothing could have been a more remote possibility. When he was about 20 years old, he got the shattering(हानिकारक/गर्जनापूर्ण) news that he could not work with the great Fred Hoyle
for his PhD, as he had aspired(आकांक्षी/महत्त्वाकांक्षा) to. Around this time he was diagnosed(निदान करना/पहचानना) with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, an incurable(लाइलाज/असाध्य) motor neurone disease(रोग), and given two years to live. Not many would have survived(जीवित रहना/बना रहना) this, let alone excelled in the manner he did. Luckily, the type of ALS he had progressed slowly, and over time he made many discoveries(खोजों/आविष्कार)that marked him among the great physicists of his time. His first breakthrough was in the work he did for his PhD thesis. The expanding universe and the unstoppable collapse(गिरावट/संक्षिप्त करें) of a black hole under its own gravity(गुरुत्वाकर्षण/भार)present two extreme spectacles for the physicist to grapple(पकड़ना/बांधना) with. Inspired by Roger Penrose’s ideas on the latter, Hawking came up with a singularity(व्यक्तित्व/विलक्षणता) theorem for the universe. This work and its extensions, known as the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems, brought him international acclaim(प्रशंसा/स्तुति करना). Later, along with others he formulated the laws of black hole mechanics, which resemble(मेल खाना) the laws of thermodynamics. Thinking along these lines led him to a contradiction(अंतर्विरोध/खंडन) — that this theory predicted that black holes would exude radiation, whereas in a purely classical picture nothing could escape the black hole, not even light. He resolved this contradiction by invoking(प्रेरक/अभिमंत्रित करना) quantum mechanics. The radiation of the black hole was named Hawking radiation.
There is no doubt that with Hawking’s death the world has lost an outstanding scientist. But he was not only a pathbreaker in the world of science. He came to be known to millions with the publication of A Brief(संक्षिप्त/ख़ुलासा) History of Time, his best-selling book describing(वर्णन करना/खींचना) in non-technical terms the structure, development and fate of the universe. He ranks with Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein as that rare physicist who fired the popular imagination(कल्पना). However, while Newton and Einstein worked on broad canvases, Hawking was focussed on cosmology(ब्रह्माण्ड विज्ञान) and gravitation. His was a life that carried to the public not only the secrets of the cosmos(विश्व/व्यवस्थित) but also the promise of hope and human endeavour; he showed that disability(विकलांगता/असमर्थता) need not hold a person back in the pursuit(पीछा/लक्ष्य) of his dreams. He leaves behind a wealth of knowledge, and also the conviction(दोषसिद्धि/धारणा) that the will to survive can overcome all odds.

Important Vocabulary
1.Odds(सहूलियत/अंतर)
Synonyms: difference, allowance, benefit, bulge, disparity
Antonyms: disadvantage, equality, likeness, sameness, similarity
2.Diagnosed(निदान करना
Synonyms: analyze, determine, investigate, pinpoint
Antonyms: miss, overlook, misdiagnose
3.Shattering(हानिकारक
Synonyms: blast, burst, crack, crush, dash
Antonyms: aid, assist, build, combine, compliment
4.Incurable(लाइलाज
Synonyms: deadly, fatal, hopeless, inoperable, impossible
Antonyms: healthful, wholesome, curable, healable, medicable
5.Collapse(गिरावट
Synonyms: bankruptcy, catastrophe, crash, debacle, destruction
Antonyms: miracle, success, wonder, creation, good fortune
6.Acclaim(प्रशंसा/स्तुति करना)
Synonyms: acclamation, applause, commendation, kudos, praise
Antonyms: blame, censure, criticism, disapproval, condemnation
7.Contradiction(अंतर्विरोध/खंडन)
Synonyms: conflict, difference, disagreement, discrepancy
Antonyms: accord, agreement, concurrence, consistency, harmony
8.Brief(संक्षिप्त/ख़ुलासा)
Synonyms: abrupt, blunt, concise, pithy, succinct
Antonyms: expansive, lengthy, long-winded, wordy, benevolent
9.Cosmos(विश्व/व्यवस्थित)
Synonyms: galaxy, solar system, creation, macrocosm, nature
10.Pursuit(पीछा
Synonyms: hunt, inquiry, quest, following, hunting
Antonyms: retreat, surrendero

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