Researchers are still pondering puzzles posed by the cosmologist
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Stephen Hawking, a black hole whisperer who divined the secrets of the universe’s most inscrutable objects, left a legacy of cosmological puzzles sparked by his work, and inspired a generation of scientists who grew up reading his books.
Upon Hawking’s death on March 14 at age 76, his most famous discovery — that black holes aren’t entirely black, but emit faint radiation — was still fueling debate.
Hawking “really, really cared about the truth, and trying to find it,” says physicist Andrew Strominger of Harvard University, who collaborated with the famed scientist. Hawking “was deeply committed, his whole life, to this quest of understanding more about the physical universe around us.”
After earning his Ph.D. in 1965 at the University of Cambridge, Hawking continued studying cosmology there for the rest of his life. Due to a degenerative illness, amyotrophic