The Ashes of Stephen Hawking were buried on June 15 in a corner of Westminster Abbey that honors some of the best scientists in Britain, between the tombs of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.
More than 1,000 people attended a Thanksgiving service at the former abbey for the physicist, who died in March at the age of 76 after decades of living with motor neuron disease. When he was diagnosed, at the age of 22, he was given only a few years of life.
Hawking conducted pioneering research on black holes and the origins of the universe and gained worldwide fame as a popularizer and communicator of science .
His book A Brief History of Time & # 39; sold 9 million copies, even if many readers did not finish it, and appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation The Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons.
"His name will live in the annals of science," astronomer Royal Martin Rees told the monument. service. "No one else since Einstein has done more to deepen our understanding of space and time."
"Millions have expanded their horizons by their books and lectures, and even more throughout the world have been inspired by a unique example of achievement against all odds," said Rees.
Hawking's first wife, Jane and Daugher Lucy were among an eclectic crowd that included scientists and scholars; politicians like the Secretary of Culture of the United Kingdom Matt Hancock and the leader of the Labor Party Jeremy Corbyn; Guitarist Chic Nile Rogers; the actress Lily Cole; the comedian David Walliams; and the talk show host Piers Morgan.
The guests also included 1,000 members of the public selected by a vote of 25,000 applicants. In March a private funeral was held in Cambridge, where Hawking lived and worked for decades.
The service included biblical readings of actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a drama BBC and Hawking's daughter, Lucy. . Astronaut Tim Peake read of "Queen Mab" by the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, which evokes the wonders of the universe.
Kip Thorne, a Nobel Prize-winning American physicist, paid tribute to "by far the most stubborn friend I ever had."
"He adamantly refused to allow his physical disability to impede science or get in the way of fun," Thorne said.
The 900-year old abbey is the resting place of a pantheon of British historical figures, including kings and queens, political leaders and writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Dickens.
Hawking was buried in the corner of the abbey's scientists, under a stone inscribed: "Here lies what was Stephen Hawking's mortal" – an English translation of the Latin words in the the nearby grave of Newton, the seventeenth-century scientist who discovered the laws of gravity The stone is also inscribed with one of Hawking's equations that describes the entropy of a black hole