Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is set to make a guest appearance on "The Big Bang Theory." Reuters

Noted physicist and professor Stephen Hawking is set to make a guest appearance next month on the hit CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

Hawking, who wrote the best-selling 1998 book A Brief History of Time, which explained physics and the mysteries of the universe in an understandable way, will play himself in The Big Bang Theory.

Hawking, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease and speaks through a computer, had been asked to appear on the show before but was too ill to guest star before, according to The Telegraph.

The Big Bang Theory, which follows the travails of four geeky friends in Los Angeles, is full of references to physics, technology and geeky TV shows and lends itself to great opportunities for figures from those worlds to make a guest appearance.

Aside from Hawking's upcoming guest role next month, here are five other people that geeks love who appeared on The Big Bang Theory.

1. George Takei

Sulu from Star Trek had a guest role on The Big Bang Theory in the show's fourth season. When Howard Wolowitz [Simon Helberg] fantasizes about his girlfriend, Bernadette, Takei comes out of nowhere in the fantasy to tell Wolowitz not to have doubts about his girlfriend.

2. Wil Wheaton

Wheaton, known for his character Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, has made frequent, brief appearances on the show as Sheldon Cooper's [Jim Parsons] arch-nemesis. Wheaton plays himself on The Big Bang Theory.

3. Steve Wozniak

Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and had a cameo appearance in the fourth season of the show. Comedy ensues when Wozniak dines at the same place as Sheldon and Sheldon compliments Wozniak on inventing the Apple II computer. Wozniak pledges to sign Sheldon's Apple II but Sheldon breaks it while rushing to get it over to Wozniak.

4. Stan Lee

The Marvel Comics creator made a guest appearance in the third season of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon discovers where Lee lives and when he visits Lee's home, the comics creator takes out a restraining order on the annoying Sheldon.

5. Neil deGrasse Tyson

The astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium appeared in the show's fourth season as a colleague of Rajesh Koothrappali [Kunal Nayyar.] Sheldon thinks deGrasse Tyson was partly responsible for deciding Pluto is not a planet. While deGrasse Tyson explains to Sheldon he was not behind Pluto's relegation, he offers an apology anyway, but Sheldon refuses to accept the apology.