Famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking will retire from his prestigious post at Cambridge University next year, but he intends to continue his exploration of time and space.
Hawking, 66, is Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a title once held by the great 18th-century physicist Isaac Newton. The university said Friday that he would step down at the end of the academic year in September, but would continue working as Emeritus Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.
“We look forward to him continuing his academic work at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, playing a leading role in research in cosmology and gravitation,” said professor Peter Haynes, who heads the department.
Hawking became a scientific celebrity through his theories on black holes and the nature of time, work that he carried on despite becoming paralyzed by motor neurone disease.
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University policy is that officeholders must retire at the end of the academic year in which they become 67. Hawking will reach that milestone on Jan. 8.
Hawking's 1988 book “A Brief History of Time” was an international best-seller; “A Briefer History of Time,” intended to be more accessible, followed in 2005.
“George's Secret Key to the Universe,” co-authored with Hawking's daughter Lucy, was published last year for the children's market.