Chinese net users mourn passing of Stephen Hawking

By Yin Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/14 15:23:39

A student takes a photograph of a notice announcing the death of British physicist Stephen Hawking outside Gonville and Caius College, where Hawking was a fellow for over 50 years at Cambridge University, in Cambridge on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Chinese social media flooded with condolences for British physicist Stephen Hawking as news of his death broke on Wednesday.

His family released a statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning confirming his death at his home in Cambridge. He was 76.

"Mr. Hawking was an outstanding scientist. He visited China three times and made highly complimentary remarks about the development and construction of China. The contribution made by Mr.Hawking will be remembered forever," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily briefing Wednesday.

A webpage on China's Sina Weibo official microblog with the hashtag Huojin qushi or "Hawking died" was viewed 400 million times and received 270,000 comments as of press time.

Internet users read Hawking's last Weibo post and expressed condolences.

The number of comments on his last Weibo post rose from 57,000 to 81,000 on Wednesday.

Users noted that Hawking died on Albert Einstein's birthday and Pi Day, which celebrates the mathematical constant Pi.

"Halley's Comet uses 76.1 years to make one complete orbit around the earth, and that's the period Hawking stayed in our world," Ren Xiaoyun, a Beijing astronomy enthusiast told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"That's also an amazing coincidence," he said.

"Sales of A Brief History of Time soared this morning," said a bookseller on Taobao, the most popular e-commerce platform.

Posted in: SOCIETY

blog comments powered by Disqus