London: Physically bound to the wheelchair, Stephen Hawking reached out into the depths of the universe with his mind and decoded the mysterious cosmos for the common people - that is how the British physicist was remembered by his Indian student today.
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"When you think about human spirit, you think about Stephen Hawking," said astrophysicist Somak Raychaudhury, director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune, who was a student of Hawking at University of Cambridge. The famous physicist Stephen Hawking - modern cosmology's brightest star - passed away today at the age of 76.
"He was my teacher, and I knew him from a time when he could speak. Personally it's a huge loss. Hawking is special because he is larger than life," Raychaudhury told PTI.
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"The man in the street knows Hawking's name not because of his research on blackholes - the common person may not understand what Hawking did on blackholes," said Raychaudhury, who obtained a PhD in astrophysics from Cambridge.
"They know him because he was a brain in a bottle, he could hardly move, and yet in spite of being given two years to live at the age of 20, he lived till 76 and tackled head on every obstacle in life," he said "That is the human spirit - you think about human spirit and you think about Stephen Hawking," he added.