Stephen Hawking Laid To Rest Alongside Darwin And Newton
A memorial service for Stephen Hawking was held at Westminster Abbey yesterday, where his ashes were laid to rest in Scientists' Corner, alongside other British scientists including Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.
Hawking died in March aged 76 after living with motor neurone disease for decades - the renowned physicist was diagnosed when he was just 22 and was initially told he had just years to live.
The memorial stone has now been placed on top of #StephenHawking's grave in Westminster Abbey. pic.twitter.com/bUTgm2UI7U
- Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) June 15, 2018
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a BBC drama, gave a reading at the ceremony which was attended by over a thousand people, including his family, Professor Brian Cox, Jeremy Corbyn and David Walliams.
Astronaut Tim Peak also gave a reading, as did Nobel-prize winner Kip Thorne who said: "[Hawking] absolutely refused to let his physical disability get in the way of doing great science or get in the way of having great fun."
More than 25,000 people applied to go to the ceremony, which was then whittled down to a thousand, the BBC reports. Among those invited were several students who use electronic devices to speak, similar to the one Hawking used.
Twenty-year-old Rose Brown said: "He showed what people with disabilities can do.
"I'm going to be an actress; everybody who puts their mind to something gets to be it. Stephen Hawking proved that more than anyone."
His ashes were placed beneath a stone that reads: "Here lies what was mortal of Stephen Hawking."
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Following the service, a recording of his voice was set to music by Greek composer Vangelis - it was then beamed to the nearest black hole '1A 0620-00', which is more than 3,000 light years from Earth.
Daughter Lucy said the recording was a "message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet." A CD of the recording was given out to those who attended the service.
Hawking was cremated in March this year following a ceremony at Great St Mary's Church, Cambridge.
In a statement at the time of his death, his children said: "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.
"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.
"He once said: 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love'. We will miss him forever."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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