Stephen Hawking Wheelchair And Other Personal Effects To Be Sold At Auction

Documents and files by Stephen Hawking the personal and academic possessions of Stephen Hawking at the auction house Christies in London. AP

Stephen Hawking Wheelchair And Other Personal Effects To Be Sold At Auction

More of Hawking's papers - including "Fundamental Breakdown of Physics in Gravitational Collapse" and "Spectrum of Wormholes" - will be sold as well.

"You can see each advance as he produced it and introduced it to the scientific community", Mr Venning said.

Upon his passing in March, Stephen Hawking bequeathed a scientific legacy that will descend to new researchers and theoreticians for generations to come.

Hawking, however, returned to school, Venning said, and his thesis "was the fruit of his reapplying himself to his scientific work".

The disease eventually left Hawking nearly completely paralyzed.

The auction will conclude with Professor Hawking's wheelchair, which Venning said allowed him to tour "the world as a successful scientific communicator, and from which his mind voyaged to the outer reaches of space-time, making it literally and figuratively one of the most-traveled wheelchairs in history". He communicated through a voice-generating computer and moved in a series of high-tech wheelchairs.

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"Hawking initially resisted the idea of using a wheelchair in the late 1960s; by the late 1970s, he was using motorized models like the present example, and was even renowned for being a rather wild driver", said Christie's. Proceeds from his wheelchair's sale will be donated to The Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association (motor neurone disease is the term used for ALS in the United Kingdom). He once ran over Prince Charles' toes - and reportedly joked that he wished he had done the same to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - and appeared in a "Monty Python" skit running down fellow physicist Brian Cox.

His most important papers, including his Black Hole Explosions of 1974, a selection of his medals and awards, a copy of his best-selling book A Brief History Of Time signed with a thumbprint, a bomber jacket, and the script for one of his appearances on The Simpsons are all part of the sale.

Daughter Lucy Hawking has noted that, through the auction, fans of the scientist will get the chance to become owners of the relics, reminding about the odd life of a theoretical physicist.

The Associated Press reports that Christie's is handling negotiations to hand over the archive to British authorities in lieu of inheritance tax.

Christie's hopes to fetch between £10,000 and £15,000 for it during the sale which opens on October 31.

Hawking's items will be featured in a science sale that also includes papers by Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

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