It needs to be said. Stephan Hawking’s very difficult medical and physical challenges have almost certainly contributed to his being put higher, in popular imagination, on the pedestal of physics Olympians. While indisputably brilliant and personally heroic, as a physicist Hawking’s contributions are not in the same league–or universe–as an Archimedes, Galileo, Copernicus, Leibniz, Newton, Faraday, Tesla, Curie, Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Dirac, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Rutherford, Oppenheimer, Feynman, Gellman, Guth or a number of other giants.
Among world class physicists, Hawking is in the much larger second tier. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
A. Darius Kamali