Hundreds line Cambridge streets to honor Stephen Hawking

March 31, 2018 by Gregory Katz
Hundreds line Cambridge streets to honor Stephen Hawking
The hearse containing Professor Stephen Hawking arrives at University Church of St Mary the Great as mourners gather to pay their respects, in Cambridge, England, Saturday March 31, 2018. The renowned British physicist died peacefully on March 14 at the age of 76. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

The life of renowned physicist and author Stephen Hawking was celebrated Saturday in English city of Cambridge, with hundreds of well-wishers lining the streets for a glimpse of the hearse carrying his remains to a private funeral.

There was a spontaneous burst of applause outside St. Mary the Great church when the hearse arrived. The bells of the church tolled 76 times, one for each year of Hawking's remarkable life.

Hawking was remembered as a brave man who triumphed over by continuing his research into space and time even after paralysis set in and his muscles faded.

Some 500 invited guests attended the funeral for Hawking, who died on March 14.

Actor Eddie Redmayne, who portrayed the scientist in the 2014 biographical film "The Theory of Everything," gave a reading from Ecclesiastes during the service. There was also a reading by Astronomer Royal Martin Reese and eulogies by one of Hawking's children and a former student.

Hawking's family released a statement saying they chose to hold the funeral "in the city that he loved so much and which loved him."

Flags were lowered to half-mast in many parts of Cambridge to pay tribute to Hawking. The service was officiated by the Rev. Cally Hammond, Dean of Cambridge University's Gonville and Caius College, where Hawking was a fellow for 52 years.

Hundreds line Cambridge streets to honor Stephen Hawking
British actor Eddie Redmayne, who played the role of the late Professor Stephen Hawking in the 2014 biographical drama The Theory of Everything, attends his funeral at University Church of St Mary the Great in Cambridge, England, Saturday March 31, 2018. The renowned British physicist died on March 14 at the age of 76. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

A private reception was held afterward at Trinity College.

Hawking was known for his groundbreaking research into black holes and other phenomena. He was also the best-selling author of "A Brief History of Time" and other books and a pop culture figure known for, among other things, his appearance on "The Simpsons" TV series.

Hawking will be cremated at a later date and his ashes are to be interred at London's Westminster Abbey near the remains of fellow scientist Isaac Newton.

Hundreds line Cambridge streets to honor Stephen Hawking
The coffin of Professor Stephen Hawking arrives at University Church of St Mary the Great as mourners gather to pay their respects, in Cambridge, England, Saturday March 31, 2018. The renowned British physicist died peacefully on March 14 at the age of 76. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)
Professor Stephen Hawking's daughter Lucy attends the funeral of her father, at University Church of St Mary the Great in Cambridge, England, Saturday March 31, 2018. The renowned British physicist died peacefully at his Cambridge home on March 14 at the age of 76. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)
Jane Hawking, the first wife of Professor Stephen Hawking and their son Timothy, attend his funeral, at University Church of St Mary the Great in Cambridge, England, Saturday March 31, 2018. The renowned British physicist died peacefully at his Cambridge home on March 14 at the age of 76. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

Explore further: Hawking's remains to be buried at Abbey near Newton, Darwin (Update)

Related Stories

Stars turn out for Stephen Hawking's funeral (Update)

March 31, 2018

Film stars, supermodels, comics and astronomers joined Stephen Hawking's family and friends for his funeral in Cambridge Saturday, the city where he dedicated his life's work to unravelling the mysteries of the universe.

Gifted Colombia kids pay tribute to hero Hawking

March 17, 2018

Gifted children at the Stephen Hawking school in Colombia's capital Bogota have been paying a special tribute to the astrophysicist whose life inspired them to study science.

Recommended for you

ATLAS experiment observes light scattering off light

March 20, 2019

Light-by-light scattering is a very rare phenomenon in which two photons interact, producing another pair of photons. This process was among the earliest predictions of quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum theory of ...

How heavy elements come about in the universe

March 19, 2019

Heavy elements are produced during stellar explosion or on the surfaces of neutron stars through the capture of hydrogen nuclei (protons). This occurs at extremely high temperatures, but at relatively low energies. An international ...

Trembling aspen leaves could save future Mars rovers

March 18, 2019

Researchers at the University of Warwick have been inspired by the unique movement of trembling aspen leaves, to devise an energy harvesting mechanism that could power weather sensors in hostile environments and could even ...

Quantum sensing method measures minuscule magnetic fields

March 15, 2019

A new way of measuring atomic-scale magnetic fields with great precision, not only up and down but sideways as well, has been developed by researchers at MIT. The new tool could be useful in applications as diverse as mapping ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.