It was straight to business for legendary British physicist Stephen Hawking as he started work alongside researchers in Canada.

"Stephen works all the time," chuckled Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, where Hawking will spend the next six weeks explaining and critiquing ideas.

Hawking arrived Friday, but despite a long flight, Turok said the renowned physicist was itching to get to work.

"Just after he arrived, we were trying to get the wireless to work at home — he really wanted to check his email," laughed Turok. "He's completely determined to work at all costs."

Hawking, known for his cosmological discoveries and insights, will be sharing ideas with the researchers at the institute to help refine understanding of important concepts.

Turok said he hopes Hawking's presence will inspire the young researchers in Waterloo.

'A standard of achieving breakthroughs'

"He sets a standard of achieving breakthroughs that we want to live by," said Turok.

The institute plans a welcoming ceremony for Hawking on June 20, when he will be greeted by Premier Dalton McGuinty and others. The ceremony will be followed by a special presentation by Hawking.

Hawking accepted a research post with the southwestern Ontario institute in 2008 and was to have visited last summer, but illness forced him to cancel.

Hawking is best known for his work on the physics of black holes. In the 1960s, he developed a degenerative disease that has impaired his ability to move and speak. He retired from Cambridge University in England last year.

Last October, the institute announced the establishment of the Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute in his honour.

The Perimeter Institute is a research centre devoted to theoretical physics that was founded in 1999 by Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.