Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76
  2. He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge early on Wednesday
  3. The Briton was known for his work with black holes and relativity
  4. He suffered from a rare form of motor neurone disease
  5. The illness left him in a wheelchair and he learned to communicate through a voice synthesiser
  6. His life story was dramatised in the award-winning film The Theory of Everything
  7. Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal, said: "We have lost a truly beautiful mind."

Live Reporting

By Marie Jackson, Vanessa Barford and Hamish Mackay

All times stated are UK

  1. Hawking 'overcame unimaginable challenges'

    Stephen Hawking's achievements would have been exceptional by any standards - that he suffered for the majority of his life with motor neurone disease make them all the more remarkable.

    Professor Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society, said the physicist's life was "a testament to the power of human creativity and imagination".

    He added: "Stephen Hawking overcame unimaginable challenges to become one of the most influential and renowned scientists of our time.

    "He was also exceptional in his ability to connect with and inspire the public the world over.

    "That he achieved all of this despite a long battle with motor neurone disease will serve as an inspiration to all. He will be sorely missed."

  2. Could Hawking have won England the World Cup?

    It's only a few months until England's footballers make their latest bid to end 52 years of hurt and win the World Cup - but last time around Prof Hawking offered his own advice on how they could succeed.

    Just before the 2014 tournament in Brazil, he calculated the "optimal conditions" to ensure English glory.

    Among his tips were that England should wear a red kit whenever possible and play in a 4-3-3 formation.

    And if a match went to a penalty shoot-out, Prof Hawking recommended a three-step run-up and for players to aim for the top corners.

    Unfortunately, the advice did not prevent England from crashing out at the earliest opportunity. And because they failed to make the knockout stages, they never go put the penalty advice to the test.

    The England team at the 2014 World Cup
    Image caption: Prof Hawking's advice did not prevent England's group stage exit at the 2014 World Cup
  3. Love music? Could you build your own stereo?

    Want to know what a scientist's taste in music is like? In 2006, Prof Stephen Hawking chose his three favourite classical works to be played at Cambridge Music Festival.

    He also recalled the time he created his own stereo to play music on.

    “I first became aware of classical music when I was 15. LPs had recently appeared in Britain. I ripped out the mechanism of our old wind-up gramophone and put in a turntable and a three-valve amplifier.”“I made a speaker cabinet from an old book case, with a sheet of chip-board on the front. The whole system looked pretty crude, but it didn’t sound too bad.”

  4. A portrait of Stephen Hawking... made out of coffee

    Welsh food artist Nathan Wyburn has shared a video of him painting an impressive portrait of the late physicist with coffee.

    According to the artist, the hot drink was chosen to paint with because of a scene in the film biopic The Theory of Everything where a swirl in a cup of coffee is used to explain the scientific theory.

    View more on twitter
  5. Hawking's life in pictures

    Throughout his life, Stephen Hawking did not shy away from public life. He was photographed with fans, other scientific figures and of course his family.

    Click here to see some of those famous snaps.

    Prof Stephen Hawking and Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Hodgkin, with their portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London
    Image caption: The National Portrait Gallery commissioned a portrait of Prof Hawking in 1992, here he is pictured with Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Hodgkin alongside the images
    Stephen Hawking and Sue Lawley when he appeared on Desert Island Discs
    Image caption: And he also appeared on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in 1992
    Stephen Hawking with his daughter Lucy
    Image caption: A touching father-daughter moment was captured during a presentation at the The George Washington University in 2008
  6. MP recalls being knocked off bike by Hawking

    A Canadian MP has tweeted a tale of the professor in Cambridge, who infamously often speeded around the university campus in his electric wheelchair.

    Seamus O'Regan says that he was riding his bike when he was "clipped" by Professor Hawking - but fondly remembers the "great story" he had to tell from the incident.

    View more on twitter
  7. When Hawking met Mandela

    The Nelson Mandela Foundation has joined tributes, with a photo posted on Twitter of the physicist meeting the former South African president, who died in 2013.

    The pair met in 2008 as part of a project to find "Africa's answer to Einstein".

    View more on twitter
  8. His scientific legacy by scientists

    Prof Stephen Hawking's colleagues reflect on the brilliance he leaves behind.

    Video content

    Video caption: Stephen Hawking: Colleagues reflect on scientist's brilliance
  9. What was Hawking's greatest wish?

    In 2017, as Prof Stephen Hawking was turning 75, he spoke to the BBC's science editor Pallab Ghosh about what he wanted more than anything for his birthday.

    Video content

    Video caption: Professor Stephen Hawking's greatest wish
  10. Watch: Five things you may not know

    From being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease at 21 to experiencing zero-gravity.

    These are just some of the things Professor Hawking's has achieved in his life.

    Video content

    Video caption: Stephen Hawking: Five things you may not know
  11. Video: Hawking demonstrates his voice synthesizer

    Stephen Hawking demonstrated his voice synthesizer on Tomorrow’s World - a long-running BBC series which reported on advances in science and technology, in 1988.

    He explained how it had revolutionised his life.

    Video content

    Video caption: Stephen Hawking talks about the impact his voice synthesizer had had on his life.
  12. 'He was a fun-loving guy'

    Jim Al-Khalili

    Theoretical physicist, professor Jim Al-Khalili, from Surrey University, says Stephen Hawking had a tremendous sense of humour.

    "He was a fun-loving guy. You could see those wonderful pictures of him when he went up in the so-called vomit comets - the weightlessness, just floating around, wanting to go out into space.

    "Inside that shell, inside that body that was paralysed, was someone who was full of vigour, full of passion for life," he tells BBC Radio Surrey.

  13. PM pays tribute again: Hawking inspired people across world

    Theresa May

    Opening Prime Minister's Questions, Theresa May has praised the scientist's "brilliance and humour".

    She told MPs: "Professor Hawking's exceptional contributions to science and our knowledge of the universe speak for themselves.

    "As his children have said, his courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world."

  14. Boasting about IQ 'is for losers'

    Stephen Hawking delivers a lecture on "The Origin of the Universe" in Brussels

    In a New York Times interview in 2004, Prof Stephen Hawking said he did not know what his IQ was and didn't think the assessment of intelligence was something to boast about.

    He said: "People who boast about their IQ are losers."

  15. Hawking's school taught him all the maths he needed

    Jonathan Gillespie, head at St Albans School, which Prof Hawking went to in the 1950s, said: "Stephen said himself the only mathematics he had ever been taught, he was taught while he was a pupil here and it had served him quite well - which is a wonderful thing.

    "He had a very inspirational mathematics teacher here called Dick Tartar who generations of pupils will also remember very fondly.

    "I'm sure that those who taught Stephen Hawking in his day knew that they had someone of significant potential in their hands but they had no idea what he would go on to do in furthering humankind's understanding of the universe."

    Mr Gillespie said Hawking was "very generous with his time" and regularly visited the school.

    "One of the school's four houses is called Hawking House and its science society is called the Stephen Hawking Society. In those two ways, Stephen's name will live on in the daily life of the school."

    View more on twitter
  16. Richard Dawkins on being mistaken for Stephen Hawking

    The evolutionary biologist and famous atheist Richard Dawkins has paid tribute to Stephen Hawking with a line from a Wordsworth poem.

    View more on twitter

    Prof Dawkins hinted a common mistake is for people to mix up Prof Hawking's surname with Hawkins, or even his own.

    He tweeted: "Once, after a talk at a Lit Fest, the first question I got was “Why aren’t you in your wheelchair?”

  17. British Science Association chief: 'He inspired us to wonder'

    Katherine Mathieson, chief executive of the British Science Association, called Prof Hawking a "true genius who had a great admiration of and connection to the public".

    She said: "Most people, when he published A Brief History of Time, would have thought a book about physics would not sell. But Stephen knew people would want to read it - and it turned out they did.

    "He simplified and explained, but without gimmicks.

    "His assumption that people are curious about the universe and black holes was true. He inspired us all to wonder."

    She added: "Importantly, he showed that disability and difference are no barriers to success; he challenged perceptions."

    And, adding a personal story, she said: "I remember him - from when I was a student at his university - speeding down the middle of the road to get around, because the pavements were too bumpy.

    "It sent out a message that 'it doesn't matter what you look like, you can be a scientist here'."

  18. Assisted dying campaigners join tributes

    National campaign group Dignity in Dying said it was "saddened" to hear of Prof Hawking's death.

    Prof Hawking had backed the Assisted Dying Bill, and, in an interview with the BBC in 2014, said: "We should not take away the freedom of the individual to choose to die."

    View more on twitter
  19. 'He just loved fireworks'

    He urged us to look up at the stars, not down at our feet so maybe this was his way to make sure we did.

    Prof Hawking was, it seems, a great fan of fireworks and would have them at every birthday party.

    Epic Fireworks, the company tasked to put on some of the birthday displays including his 75th, sent Prof Hawking a huge stash of fireworks to Cambridge University in 2014.

    "He just loved fireworks," Paul Singh said.

    Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University with fireworks