In startling coincidence, Stephen Hawking died on Einstein’s birthday
As the world reels from the death of Stephen Hawking, one of the great science minds in all of history, admirers are taking some solace in a few coincidences surrounding Hawking’s birthday and the date of his passing.
It’s long been known that Hawking’s birthday, January 8, 1942, fell on the 300th anniversary of the death of another great science mind, Galileo Galilei.
But the day of his death, in the early hours of March 14, 2018 at his home in Cambridge, England, happened to coincide with the birthday of yet another genius: Albert Einstein, born March 14, 1879.
Stephen Hawking was born January 8, 1942, on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death. He died today, March 14th, on the anniversary of Einstein’s birth. Time is circular – no beginning, no end.
— Warren Leight (@warrenleightTV) March 14, 2018
Stephen Hawking died on Einstein’s birthday, and was born on the 300th anniversary of the death of Galileo.
3 giants of modern cosmology.
— (@nuffsaidNY) March 14, 2018
Stephen Hawking was born on the 300th death anniversary of Galileo Galilei, and died on the 139th birth anniversary of Albert Einstein.
Gravity is indeed deterministic.
— Dr. Karan Jani (@AstroKPJ) March 14, 2018
One more note: March 14 is also Pi Day — 3/14, 3.14, get it? — a math-related holiday (not to be confused with, say, Pie Day). Equating Hawking with what may seem like a silly “holiday” based on a numerical coincidence may seem superfluous and like its minimizing Hawking’s genius and accomplishments.
But Hawking had a sense of humor about things (anyone who’s seen his cameos on The Simpsons know this) and connecting Hawking to a day about math is hardly the worst way to remember him.
Of course, Hawking’s genius, as well as Einstein’s and Galileo’s, are greatness that far exceeds such happenstance.
But that these three great minds somehow, no matter how tangentially, are connected by anything is a pretty good argument for the existence of cosmic thread that binds everything together. And in a time of chaos, there’s oddly something comfortable about that.