Plus One English Solution Chapter3 Quest for a Theory of Everything

The "
Plus One English  Textbook solutions" includes all the important concepts for class 11 (English Medium) students in an easy-to-understand way. This is the fascinating story of one of the greatest quests in science-the search for a "Theory of Everything" which would unify Einstein's general relativity with quantum mechanics. In 1991, Stephen Hawkings announced that he had achieved this. Four years later, however, he admitted that he had made a mistake. Richard Dawid tells the whole story of Hawkings' theory and the experiences that led to its mistaken claim to have solved the problem.  The content is prepared by our subject experts to ensure a memorable learning experience along with self-correcting and self-evaluating options. Our continuous efforts have made us successful in achieving more appreciations from the users.

Board SCERT, Kerala
Text Book NCERT Based
Class plus one
Subject English Textbook Solution
Chapter Chapter 3
Chapter Name Quest for a Theory of Everything
Category Plus One Kerala

Kerala Syllabus plus one English Textbook Solution Unit I Chapter 3 Quest for a Theory of Everything(Profile)

Chapter 3 Quest for a Theory of Everything


(The lesson is a profile of Stephen Hawking. A profile is a short biography of somebody.)


Stephen Hawking was born on 8 January, 1942, in Oxford, England. He grew up in a highly educated family. Both of his parents, Frank and Isobel Hawking, had studied at Oxford University. His father, Frank, was a medical researcher. Though not wealthy, the family placed a high value on education. They moved to St Albans in
1950. The eight-year-old Hawking attended St Albans School. He was just an ordinary student, slow in learning to read. His teachers found his handwriting very difficult to read. So, he was ranked among the average students. Stephen was always interested in science. By the time he was eight he thought he would become a scientist. His father advised him to study medicine. But Stephen had no taste for biology. His father wanted him to attend the famous Westminster School in London. It needed a scholarship because the fees were too high. On the day of the scholarship examination, the 13-year-old Stephen fell ill and the opportunity was lost. So, he remained at St Albans School.

          THE OXFORD YEARS: 

At fourteen Stephen decided to study mathematics and physics. His father called it impractical because of low job opportunities. Mathematics graduates could only become teachers. Frank wanted his son to study at University College, Oxford. He had studied there. Stephen agreed. Mathematics was not available at Oxford. So he chose natural science and physics. In 1959, at age 17, he entered Oxford. He selected theoretical physics as his specialty. For the first 18 months, he was bored and lonely. He was not able to take enough interest in his studies. Later it changed. Stephen began to mingle with his college mates. He wore his hair long and became a popular, lively and witty college member. He was interested in classical music and science fiction. He took part in sports. In the third year at Oxford he applied to do PhD at Cambridge. For this he needed a first-class from Oxford. But he ran into trouble at the end of the third year. The final result was on the borderline between first and second class. This made a viva necessary. At the oral examination he was asked about his future plans. Stephen said, "If you award me a First, I will go to Cambridge. If I receive a Second, I shall stay in Oxford, so I expect you will give me a First”. His ready wits saved the situation. He became famous for this reply among his friends. He got his ‘First’ and went to Cambridge in 1962, at age 20.

          AT CAMBRIDGE: 

Stephen's first year at Cambridge was difficult. His mathematics was not strong enough for his PhD. He found Einstein’s theory of general relativity very tough. Jane Wilde, a shy teenager, met Stephen at a New Year’s party in 1963. For her, he didn’t look neat and tidy. He was very intelligent and interesting but arrogant, Jane thought. She was attracted to his sense of humour. Their friendship grew. At Cambridge Stephen was known for his brashness. Though a young researcher, he asked difficult questions to great scientists. People called him ‘a genius’ and ‘another Einstein’. 
During his third year at Oxford, Hawking started tripping. At Cambridge, he had trouble tying his shoes. His speech became unclear. It was diagnosed as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). The disease causes total loss of muscle control and paralysis. It has no cure. Stephen fell into a deep depression. He was only 21 years old. Doctors said he had only two or three years to live. The future looked terribly uncertain. He had felt very bored with life before his illness. The disease made him think that life was precious. Suddenly he saw that there were a lot of good things to do. But he didn’t know what to do. He was very confused. Life seemed to be too short. He dreamt that he was going to be executed.


It was now Jane stepped in. It made all the difference in Stephen’s life. Jane was serious-mined and had strong faith in God. She supported Stephen and tried to give him courage. Her optimism cleared his confusion. He began to study and work harder. Between his work and Jane, Stephen had a reason to live. They were married in July, 1965. In the same year, at age 23, Stephen received a research fellowship at Caius College, Cambridge. He had his PhD degree in March 1966. Two years passed. Stephen didn’t die. His first son was born in May 1967. He was enjoying life in the present, more than ever. 
By the end of 1960’s Stephen lost the use of his arms and legs. He needed a wheelchair. His third child was born in April 1979. In the same year he was appointed as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge at age 38. His inaugural lecture was titled: ‘Is the end in sight for Theoretical Physics?’ By then Stephen was in need of money. He thought of writing a popular science book about the universe. The first draft of the book, called A Brief History of Time, was completed in 1984. During a visit to Switzerland in 1985, Stephen caught pneumonia.


The young seagull stood on one leg at the edge of the high rock. He closed his eyes and pretended to be falling asleep. He was hungry for twenty-four hours. He saw his mother tearing a piece of fish. The sight of food maddened him. He cried with hunger. Mother seagull picked up a piece of fish and flew across to him. When she reached just near her son, she became motionless in the air. She did not get down on the ledge. The young seagull dived at the fish in his mother’s beak. Just then she flew upwards.

The young seagull lost his balance. He fell down from the rock into space. Now he was in the open air. He saw the wide sea beneath him. He became much frightened. The next moment, his wings spread outwards.

He flapped his wings again and again and started to fly. His family joined him on his first flight. He flew upwards and then dived. His parents, brothers and sister flew around him. Finally, he landed on the sea. Now he was floating on water. He knew he would not sink. He was no longer afraid. His family praised him. They offered him scraps of dogfish. He had made his first flight. The disease threatened his life. Doctors removed his windpipe in an operation to save him. But he lost his voice for ever. Moreover, he could breathe only through a hole made in the throat. For communication, he received a computer programme, called the ‘Equalizer’, from Walt Woltosz, a computer expert in California, USA. It allowed him to select words from a computer screen. The computer was fitted on his wheelchair. A Brief History of Time was published in 1988 with the help of his student Brian Whitt. It was an extraordinary success. Stephen became a celebrity scientist. Media called him ‘master of the universe’. 
Stephen Hawking preferred to ignore his physical disabilities. He died at his home in Cambridge, England, on 14 March 2018, at the age of 76. By that time, he was almost completely paralyzed. But he was still doing research in science. He lived with a terrible disease, making achievements.

 Review of 'His First Flight'

Liam O’Flaherty’s ‘His First Flight’ is one of his most famous works. It is a parable (a short moral story). It symbolizes the nervousness we experience before doing something new. The theme is ‘Overcoming fears in life. We need to be independent and confident in life. We must not live away from family. Our family is a source of inspiration and motivation. Parental guidance, encouragement and discipline have a major role in shaping the future of children.

Mother seagull does the trick to get her young son to fly. Leaving him alone on the ledge without food did not work well. She decided to exploit his hunger. A piece of fish right in front; he went for it, and he was in the air, making his first flight. The baby seagull faced a crisis, a do-or-die situation, fall or fly. He had good wings. But he was in a state of fear and ignorance. He had no belief in the strength of his wings. He knew their strength only when his life was in danger.

Flaherty creates effective word pictures. We have the feeling that we see what we read. Each and every
movement of the birds is given in all its details. Birdlife and habits are revealed clearly in the story.
Flaherty’s seagull is not a bird. It is every beginner, always afraid of taking the first step. The story gives the message ‘Conquer fear, and we realize that we are born with wings’.

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