Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicist. Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge (but intends to retire from this post in 2009), a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and the distinguished research chair at Waterloo\s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes. He has also achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; these include the runaway bestseller A Brief History of Time, which stayed on the British Sunday Times bestseller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Hawking has a neuromuscular dystrophy that is related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a condition that has
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