Prof Stephen Hawking commemorated on new 50p coin

  • Prof Stephen Hawking commemorated on new 50p coin

Prof Stephen Hawking commemorated on new 50p coin

Stephen Hawking has been honoured on a new 50p following his death a year ago.

Hawking was confined to a wheelchair, nearly completely paralysed and unable to speak except through his trademark voice synthesiser after having being diagnosed with motor neurone disease aged 21.

It's been a year since the renowned and profoundly influential physicist Stephen Hawking passed away, and the Royal Mint has honoured his legacy in the form of a new commemorative 50 pence coin.

"I wanted to fit a big black hole on the tiny coin and wish he was still here chortling at the thought", engraver Edwina Ellis told the BBC.

He joins an elite group of scientists to have appeared on coins, including Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

"We have remained in close contact with the Hawking family throughout this case and I am grateful to them - as they approach the anniversary of Professor Hawking's death - and others for sharing their concerns with us".

The design of the new seven-sided coin has been inspired by Hawking's pioneering work on black holes.

Prof Hawking explained black holes in his best-selling book A Brief History Of Time.

This also implies a way to make black holes less black through the emission of a weird kind of radiation, a finding that Hawking proudly counted as one of his landmark contributions to science.

The coin pays tribute to Stephen Hawking's work in black holes.

A limited number of gold and silver presentation coins, celebrating the life of Stephen Hawking, featured on the Royal Mint website and costing from £55 to £795, have all been reserved and are no longer available for purchase.

With this coin, Stephen Hawking becomes one of an elite group of scientists to have been honoured on United Kingdom coins, alongside the likes of Charles Darwin in 2009 and Sir Isaac Newton in 2017.