World famous physicist, known for his groundbreaking works on black holes and relativity, Stephen Hawking is dead.

The British native died at the age of 76 in his Cambridge home in the early hours of Wednesday.

In a statement announcing 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.”

They praised his “courage and persistence” and said his “brilliance and humor” 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.”

Hawking was confined to a wheelchair for the most part of his life as a result of a rare case of ALS neurological disease he contracted at the age of 21. But the condition spurred him to work harder as he wrote in his 2013 memoir “My Brief History.”

A vocal advocate of science and technological advancement, Hawking shot to international fame after the 1988 publication of his book, “A Brief History of Time”. He is also notable for the groundbreaking tech that helps him communicate via a complicated network of computers since he lost his ability for speech.

Reuters reported that since 1974 he worked extensively on marrying the two cornerstones of modern physics – Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which concerns gravity and large-scale phenomena, and quantum theory, which covers subatomic particles.

As a result of that research, Hawking proposed a model of the universe based on two concepts of time: “real time”, or time as human beings experience it, and “quantum theory’s ‘imaginary time’”, on which the world may really run.

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