World pays tribute to Stephen Hawking following death at 76

"His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake"

Stephen Hawking has passed away at the age of 76, with tributes pouring in from around the world.

The renowned physicist, whose best-selling work included A Brief History of Time, died peacefully at his Cambridge home in the early hours of Wednesday (March 14).

Hawking’s family confirmed the news of his death, with his children saying in a statement: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.”

“He once said: ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him for ever.”

Since the news broke, stars from the worlds of science, politics and popular culture have been paying respect to the icon.

NASA wrote on Twitter: “His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring”, while Neil deGrasse Tyson said of Hawking: “His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure.”

“There’s a big black hole in my heart hours before Pi day,” wrote Katy Perry. “Rest In Peace.” Foo Fighters labelled Hawking a “fucking legend”.

Film director Errol Morris, who made 1991’s A Brief History Of Time, a documentary about Hawking and his work, said: “It had to happen, eventually. We were lucky to have him for so long, and I was lucky to be able to work with him. A truly fabulous human being. Stephen Hawking. Funny, perverse, and, of course, brilliant.”

See more tributes beneath.