<p>Stephen Hawking in 2007</p>

Stephen Hawking in 2007

Google Doodle honours Stephen Hawking on what would have been his 80th birthday

The two-minute animation will appear on Google’s homepage on Saturday 8 January

Friday 07 January 2022 16:35
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The late Stephen Hawking has been honoured by Google on what would have been his 80th birthday.

The professor, who passed away in March 2018, aged 76, will have his life celebrated with a two-minute animation appearing on the Google homepage.

People in over 50 countries will be able to view the animation and it will take viewers through the life of Hawking, beginning in his early years and into his discoveries of the universe.

The Doodle was created by Google art lead Matthew Cruickshank, and was worked on with guidance from the Hawking family and estate.

Before his death, Hawking’s theories on the origins and nature of the universe revolutionised modern physics. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1964 aged just 22 and was given only a few years to live.

“We are delighted that Google has chosen to celebrate our father’s 80th birthday with this fabulous Doodle,” Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said in a statement.

“We think he would have loved the Doodle and been very entertained to see his long, distinguished life expressed so creatively in this briefest history of all, a two-minute animation.”

Hawking’s children add that they hope the animation offers “inspiration and hope globally” to all who face challenges.

"We also believe he would have found it important to show that he never allowed the challenges of his physical condition to limit his power of expression nor his determination to make an impact on the world in which he lived,” they continued.

“Our father would have been 80 years old today and we thank everyone who has joined in the celebration of his extraordinary life and the legacy he gave to us all.”

The Doodle will also feature the voice of Hawking, which has been generated to narrate impactful quotes in the short video.

Cruickshank added that it has been “particularly exciting and humbling” to work on the animation.

“The creative challenge lay in including and tying together all of his work: from black holes to the Big Bang, as well as his theories on the origins and mechanics of the universe,” he continued.

“And as a British national myself, the creative process felt especially poignant.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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