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Colleagues at The University of Cambridge have paid tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking as a "scientific phenomenon" who was "one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein".
The renowned British physicist died peacefully at his home in Cambridge at the age of 76.
He was a fellow of Gonville and Caius, the university college which was his academic home for almost all of his working life. He described it as a "constant thread running through my life".
He became a fellow of Caius in October 1965, two years after being given an initial medical diagnosis suggesting he had just two years to live.
Today the college paid tribute to a man "whose wicked sense of humour enlivened High Table dinners and saw him spinning uproariously around hall in his wheelchair to the strains of a waltz at a college party".
Fellow Caius Professor Tim Pedley first met Professor Hawking as a research student in 1963.
He remembers his real voice - famously replaced by his trademark American-accented synthesiser as his motor neurone disease worsened.
The Motor Neurone Disease Association says it has had an influx of donations this morning following the death of Professor Stephen Hawking.
The charity, based in Northampton, says it's had so much traffic over the past couple of hours the website has now crashed. Professor Hawking became Patron of MND Association in 2008.
Prof Hawking survived for around half a century after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), despite being told he had just years to live when he was diagnosed
The disease kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis. Yet Prof Hawking was diagnosed with the condition in his early 20s and lived until he was 76.
The condition is fatal, and usually progresses rapidly, affecting the brain and spinal cord.
The MND Association states that the condition affects everyone differently - not all symptoms will affect everyone and symptoms progress at varying speeds.
It affects around 5,000 people in the UK. There is no cure for MND and there is not a clear answer about what causes the condition.
Social media feeds are this morning awash with tributes to Professor Stephen Hawking, who died at home in Cambridge this morning.
Professor Stephen Hawking was "an inspiration to millions" and his work will leave "an indelible legacy", the University of Cambridge has said.
The acclaimed physicist died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning, at the age of 76.
Prof Hawking first arrived at the University of Cambridge in 1962 as a PhD student, and rose through the ranks to become the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position once held by Sir Isaac Newton, in 1979.
He retired from this position in 2009, and became the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research in the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics until his death.
Prof Hawking was a fellow at the university's Gonville and Caius College, where a book of condolence is due to be opened. This morning the flag at the college is at half-mast.
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The renowned British physicist died peacefully at his home in Cambridge.