(On the birth anniversary of Stephen Hawking, The Quint is republishing this piece from its archives. It was first published on 14 March 2018.)
Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.Stephen Hawking
Astrophysicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who passed away on 14 March, at the age of 76, left behind a stellar body of work and a life of struggle worth storyboarding, that constantly motivates us to be of some cosmic significance in the endless expanse of the universe.
However, it wasn’t just space that interested him. Hawking was vocal about his opinion on several worldly matters – be it social issues or politics – and frequently interacted with his fans and followers on social media.
In fact, to celebrate 4 million followers on Facebook, he had invited young scientists to write him science-themed haikus!
The result was a flood of poems dedicated to him and science. On themes ranging from quantum mechanics to artificial intelligence in space, science enthusiasts from across the globe sent in entries – all arranged in three lines of five, seven and five syllables, respectively.
What better way to remember the celebrated scientist than by reading out some of these science-inspired haikus?
When You Write Your PhD Dissertation in a Haiku
Dave Russ had condensed the entire matter of his PhD dissertation titled ‘The Interaction of Jet/Front Systems and Mountain Waves: Implications for Lower Stratospheric Aviation Turbulence’ into this haiku:
Science Transcends Borders
Presto Yeung from South America shared his understanding of relativity.
There Is No Age Limit to Learning
Sixty-one-year-old John Quarforth thanked Hawking for inspiring him to learn physics in his 60s in spite of only having studied till high school.
The Gravitational Pull of Black Holes
Masuma Ahmed’s haiku was inspired by a recent scientific discovery. “At LIGO, the physicists finally detected the gravitational wave generated by the two colliding massive black holes billion light years away,” he said.
In October, last year, scientists in the United States and Europe had, for the first time, detected gravitational waves – the ripples in space and time predicted by Albert Einstein – at the same time as light from the same cosmic event, Reuters had reported.
Does thinking about space, universe, gravity and black holes tickle your poetic senses? If yes, then do share a science-inspired haiku with us to remember the genius that Hawking was.