U.K. Royal Mint honors Stephen Hawking on new 50p coin


  • Stephen Hawking, cosmologist, theoretical physicist and popular science educator, died on March 14, 2018.
  • The Royal Mint is celebrating his work and life with a collector’s coin that’s selling for 10 pounds.
  • Hawking’s younger son said he imagined his dad reacting to the news with “one of his huge, wide smiles.”

The U.K. Royal Mint has issued a 50-pence coin commemorating the late physicist Stephen Hawking, who died nearly one year ago at age 76.

The collector’s coin, which is selling online for $10 pounds, depicts Stephen Hawking’s name surrounded by lines that form concentric circles representing a black hole. Written above his name on the coin is the Bekenstein-Hawking formula, which describes black-hole entropy, and shows that the surface area of a black hole expands as it consumes more matter. It also supports the idea that black holes aren’t completely black.

“This is such a lovely way to commemorate him and his legacy,” said Lucy Hawking, Stephen Hawking’s daughter known for her work as a children’s novelist and science educator. “It’s a 2D surface that seems to have a 3D image on it. It’s as though you could fall into the black hole.”

Coin designer Edwina Ellis said she “wanted to fit a big black hole on the tiny coin and wish he was still here chortling at the thought.”

“The initial inspiration was actually Stephen…

Marcela
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Marcela

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