Science: Soaring Across Space and Time

Most of the day he sits huddled in a wheelchair in his small, cluttered office at England's Cambridge University. At his side is a mechanical page turner that allows him to read without calling for assistance. Stephen Hawking has been confined to a wheelchair for eight years, the victim of a type of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a rare, wasting disease of the nervous system and muscles. He cannot raise his head without great effort. He speaks only in a slurred monotone comprehensible to just a few intimates. Yet, at age 36, in spite of...

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