Stephen Hawking



Issued 2019
Diameter 27.30mm
Weight 8g
Composition 75% copper, 25% nickel (referred to as cupro-nickel)
Obverse Jody Clark
Reverse Edwina Ellis
Edge Plain
Inscription STEPHEN HAWKING. (entropy equation)
Mintage 0
B.U pack C
£10.00 L
12/03/19 I
No sales data K

Design details: Reframing Time and Space

This coin is the first in a series of coins celebrating Innovators of science.

Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford on 8 January 1942. After passing the eleven-plus, he was admitted to St Albans School where classmates nicknamed him Einstein. Oxford University and a first in Natural Sciences followed, then Cambridge and a PHD titled Properties of an Expanding Universe. It was here in 1963, aged 20, that was he diagnosed with a rare form of Motor Neurone Disease. Hawking’s academic work scaled new heights and his obsession with black holes drove his work. In conjunction with Oxford mathematician Roger Penrose, he showed that if there had been a Big Bang, it must have started from an infinitely small point – a ‘singularity’, akin to the collapse of a black hole in reverse. At a time when the origins of the universe were less understood, this revelation was more radical than many cosmologists had hoped. He made a number of important discoveries about this phenomenon. Chief among them that black holes leak energy and slowly evaporate to nothing. Termed Hawking radiation, this was a huge breakthrough, the upshot of which was that black holes aren’t completely black. The coin is designed by Ewina Ellis who also did the 2013 London Underground Roundel £2 coin and the bridges £1 series, the coin like many these days will not be going into general circulation. 2019