London (UK) – Theoretical Physicist and Mathematician Stephen Hawking, undoubtedly one of the brightest minds of our time, has been hospitalized and is, according to media reports, very ill. Cambridge University said he has been dealing with a chest infection and for a few weeks.
The university told media that 67-year old Hawking was rushed to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge on Monday. "Professor Hawking is very ill," said Gregory Hayman, the university's head of communications, in a conversation with AP. "He is undergoing tests. He has been unwell for a couple of weeks." Hawking appeared to have recovered somewhat by late Monday local time. Hayman said that the scientist will be kept in the hospital overnight.
Hawking has been paralyzed caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), For more than 35 years, he has been unable to feed himself or get out of bed without assistance. While his speaking ability was also affected, he has been unable to speak at all since 1985, when he caught pneumonia and had a tracheotomy. Since then, Hawking has been communicating with a voice synthesizer attached to his wheel chair.
Hawking gained worldwide popularity through his 1988 book A Brief History of Time, which tries to explain topics such as the Big Bang, black holes, light cones and the superstring theory to readers without scientific background. Hawking was also working on a "unified theory" that examined contradictions between Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and the Theory of Quantum Mechanics.