Jun 15, 2018

By Michael Kramer

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Stephen Hawking has taken his place among Britain’s greatest scientists – with the burial of his ashes in Westminster Abbey – between the graves of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.

More than one-thousand people attended a service of thanksgiving for the physicist today.

He died in March at age 76 – after decades of living with motor neuron disease.

The service included readings by actor Benedict Cumberbatch – who played Hawking in a B-B-C drama.

There were also tributes from Astronomer Royal Martin Rees and Nobel prize winner Kip Thorne.

Hawking’s words, set to music by Greek composer Vangelis – are to be beamed into space from a European Space Agency satellite dish in Spain.

His daughter, Lucy, said the music would be aimed at “the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00.”

The ashes were interred in Scientists’ Corner, a section of the Abbey dedicated to those who have made significant breakthroughs – and a memorial stone will be placed atop the burial spot with the inscription; “Here lies what was mortal of Stephen Hawking 1942 – 2018.”  The stone is also inscribed with one of Hawking’s most famed equations.

Guests at the service included a thousand members of the public selected by ballot. A private funeral service was held in Cambridge in March.


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