Friday, January 14, 2011

Stephen Hawking Mad Lib

Stephen Hawking is generally considered to be one of the greatest physicists of our time. He is often compared to great historical physicists like Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton, though he denies he belongs in such a prestigious group.

To complete the Hawking Mad Lib below, first, print out a copy of this post by going to File -> Print in your browser menu. (Or copy and paste the contents into a Word document and print from there.) Then, fill in the blanks at the top of the post with the appropriate parts of speech. Next, fill in the numbered blanks in the story with the words from the list at the top. Read out loud with friends and enjoy!

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20. Name of Person _______________

Stephen Hawking is a (1) _______________ British physicist who helped flesh out the Big Bang theory and explain the anatomy of a black hole. He was born on Jan. 8, 1942 - exactly 300 (2) _______________ after the death of Galileo. Hawking is a relative cosmologist - a person who studies the Universe using (3) _______________ Einstein's (4) _______________ theory of relativity.

In 1962, just before starting graduate school at the University of Cambridge, Hawking discovered he had an incurable and fatal disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Doctors gave him only two years to (5) _______________. But Hawking overcame the odds, earned his PhD, got married, started a family and rose to fame as one of the greatest (6) _______________ of our time.

One of Hawking's most (7) _______________ theories is that black holes aren't really black. Hawking predicted that black holes emit radiation, challenging the (8) _______________ idea that nothing could escape the gravitational pull of a black hole. Thanks to Hawking Radiation (named for the man who predicted its existence), physicists now believe that black (9) _______________ will eventually radiate away all of their mass and disappear.

Despite not having the ability to speak or (10) _______________, Hawking is a (11) _______________ author who has published a handful of books like A Brief History of (12) _______________ and The Universe in a (13) _______________.

Hawking retired as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge in 2009. He has twelve honorary degrees and was awarded the (14) _______________ Medal of Freedom - the United State's (15) _______________ honor - by U.S. President Barack Obama that same year.

In 2007, Hawking became the first quadriplegic to experience zero-gravity when he (16) _______________ in a Vomit Comet. When asked why he went on the (17) _______________, Hawking said that he wanted to encourage public interest in space and also that he was training to (18) _______________ to space on a Virgin Galactic suborbital flight.

Though he is interested in riding into space, Hawking's take on manned space exploration can be a little (19) _______________. In 2004, a New York Times Magazine interviewer named (20) _______________ asked Hawking, "What do you think of President Bush's plan to get [humans] to Mars in 10 years?"

Hawking's answer: "Stupid. Robots would do a better job and be much cheaper because you don't have to bring them back."

To learn more about Stephen Hawking, visit his website.

For more Physics Buzz Mad Lib fun, check out our Tesla Mad Lib!

1 comment:

  1. I have read about his interesting views of the Space tourism and Virgin Galactic. I think its great that space travel has become cheap to a extend that a good chunk of people can afford traveling to space.