20/03/2018 16:24 GMT | Updated 20/03/2018 16:35 GMT

Stephen Hawking's Ashes To Be Interred Near Sir Isaac Newton's Grave

'It is entirely fitting.'

The ashes of Professor Stephen Hawking will be interred at Westminster Abbey near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton during a thanksgiving service later this year, a spokesman for the abbey said.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: “It is entirely fitting that the remains of Professor Stephen Hawking are to be buried in the Abbey, near those of distinguished fellow scientists.

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“Sir Isaac Newton was buried in the Abbey in 1727.

“Charles Darwin was buried beside Isaac Newton in 1882.

“Other famous scientists are buried or memorialised nearby, the most recent burials being those of atomic physicists Ernest Rutherford in 1937 and Joseph John Thomson in 1940.

“We believe it to be vital that science and religion work together to seek to answer the great questions of the mystery of life and of the universe.”

Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge last week at the age of 76. 

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English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, who is buried at Westminster Abbey 

Hawking’s formidable mind probed the very limits of human understanding both in the vastness of space and in the bizarre sub-molecular world of quantum theory, which he said could predict what happens at the beginning and end of time.

His work ranged from the origins of the universe itself, through the tantalising prospect of time travel to the mysteries of space’s all-consuming black holes.

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The tomb of Sir Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey