‘We lost a great one’: Microsoft CEO and other celebs salute Stephen Hawking

The cast of “The Big Bang Theory” gathers around physicist Stephen Hawking, a guest star. (BigBangTheory via Twitter)

Few luminaries bridged the frontiers of science and pop culture as completely as physicist Stephen Hawking, and that fact was as obvious as 2+2=4 in the tributes that were tweeted as word of his death spread.

Hawking played himself as a wheelchair-riding brainiac on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “The Big Bang Theory,” and popped up as an animated character on “The Simpsons” and “Futurama.” He was also a frequent host or guest star for a plethora of science documentaries.

Here’s a sampling of the tributes, starting with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s tweet: