Hawking ashes to be interred at Westminster Abbey

Universe bubbles during inflation

A spokesman for the abbey said Tuesday the ashes of the celebrated physicist will be placed there later this year at a thanksgiving service.

Hawking, the world's most recognizable scientist, died last week aged 76 after a lifetime spent probing the origins of the universe, the mysteries of black holes and the nature of time itself.

Professor Stephen Hawking's funeral will take place at the Cambridge University church on March 31, the scientist and cultural icon's family announced. Doctors suggested a life expectancy of 2 to 3 years, however, Hawking managed to pull it off pretty well being alive for more than five decades after the diagnosis.

The ashes of Professor Stephen Hawking will be interred next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey, it has been revealed.

Several kings and queens are buried in the abbey, along with eight British prime ministers.

The Abbey's most famous residents, in scientific circles at least - I'm sure Elizabeth I, Geoffrey Chaucer, Rudyard Kipling, and Charles Dickens would have something to say otherwise - are of course Issac Newton and Charles Darwin.

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Hawkings children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said they chose to hold the funeral in Cambridge in recognition that it is the city their father "loved so much and which loved him".

The service will be both inclusive and traditional, reflecting the diversity of Professor Hawking's life.

The interment will take place after a service of thanksgiving later this year.

The statement further read, "Our father's life and work meant many things to many people, both religious and non-religious".

According to Reverend Hall, other famous scientists buried or memorialised nearby include atomic physicists Ernest Rutherford in 1937 and Joseph John Thomson in 1940.

Following his death, Cambridge University described Hawking as "an inspiration to millions". Considered by many to be the greatest scientist of his generation, Hawking overcame a debilitating disease to gain a worldwide following for his brilliant work in theoretical physics.

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