Stephen Hawking's Iconic Motorised Chair Auctioned. Here's How Much It Fetched

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Stephen Hawking's belongings - wheelchair, a copy of his doctoral thesis, motorised chair auctioned. Proceeds from the chair's sale will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

A wheelchair used by Stephen Hawking has sold at auction for almost 300,000 pounds (USD 393,000), while a copy of the scientist's doctoral thesis fetched almost 585,000 pounds (USD 767,000.)

The motorised chair, used by the physicist after he was paralysed with motor neuron disease, sold for 296,750 pounds in a Christie's online auction. It had been expected to fetch 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds.

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Proceeds from the chair's sale will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Hawking's 1965 thesis on the origins of the universe sold for 584,750 pounds, more than three times its pre-sale estimate, in the auction that ended Thursday, November 8. 

Diagnosed with motor neuron disease at 22 and given just a few years to live, Hawking died in March at 76. 

"There is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate", the celebrated physicist and a known atheist wrote in his final book, which also covers important existential questions such as the creation of the universe, alien intelligence, space colonisation and artificial intelligence. Published by John Murray, 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' is a selection of the late cosmologist's most profound, accessible, and timely reflections from his personal archive.

For centuries, it was believed that disabled people like me were living under a curse that was inflicted by God. Well, I suppose it's possible that I've upset someone up there, but I prefer to think that everything can be explained another way, by the laws of nature, he wrote in the chapter titled Is There a God?

He says he uses the word God' in an impersonal sense, like Albert Einstein did, for the laws of nature, so knowing the mind of God is knowing the laws of nature.

"My prediction is that we will know the mind of God by the end of this century."

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According to Hawking," the universe is the ultimate free lunch and if the universe adds up to nothing, then you don't need a God to create it".

Hawking has authored A Brief History of Time, which has sold over 13 million copies worldwide and shot back to the top of bestseller lists after his death, and many other books.

A percentage of the royalties of the new book will go to the Motor Neuron Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation. 

(Inputs from AP)

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