What was Stephen Hawking's nickname in Black Holes and Baby Universes?

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In his book Black Holes and Baby Universes, the late, great Stephen Hawking offers a wide selection of lectures, essays, and personal musings. In addition to talking strictly about his scientific research, he also discusses the tragic effects of the motor neuron disease that caused his paralysis.

Because of his inquisitive nature, his intellectual confidence, and his ability to make scientific discoveries that impressed even his elders, Hawking was gifted with the nickname 'Einstein' after the scientist Albert Einstein.

Interestingly enough, while they were both intellectual giants and pioneers in the field of science, Hawking and Einstein were considerably different. For one, while Einstein didn't believe in an inherently interventionist God, he accepted the possibility of God's existence. In contrast, Hawking is confidently atheist. Furthermore, in an eerie coincidence, Stephen Hawking passed away on March 14, the birthday of Albert Einstein.

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The brilliant astrophysicist writes in his opening chapter "Childhood" that what some saw as his early academic shortcomings, especially his deficient handwriting ability that exacerbated his teachers, could not conceal thet promise that this young student possessed: " . . . my classmates gave the nickname Einstein, so presumably they saw signs of something better." 

Hawking was born in 1942, the Second World War already well-underway in Great Britain and across Europe and Asia. His earliest memories, therefore, include the horrors inflicted on England's population by Germany, including the destruction wrought on London by Hitler's V-2 rockets. Not all of Hawkings earliest memories, however, are bad. He also relates his first train set and intense desire for an electric train, and his teenage love of building model airplanes and boats.

That Hawking would be given the nickname "Einstein" by classmates in elementary school is certainly propitious and prescient, as he would grow up to be among his generation's preeminent experts in the kind of physics studied by Albert Einstein, including in the formulation of scientific theories to explain the most fundamental developments in the history of the known universe.

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