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A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes Paperback – 1 November 2011
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- ISBN-13 : 978-9632756127
- ISBN-10 : 0857501003
- Paperback : 272 pages
- Product Dimensions : 12.7 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
- Publisher : BANTAM UK (1 November 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Master of the Universe... One scientist's courageous voyage to the frontiers of the Cosmos, Newsweek
This book marries a child's wonder to a genius's intellect. We journey into Hawking's universe, while marvelling at his mind, The Sunday Times
He can explain the complexities of cosmological physics with an engaging combination of clarity and wit... His is a brain of extraordinary power, Observer
To follow such a fine mind as it exposes such great problems is an exciting experience, The Sunday Times
From the Publisher
A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang to Black Holes
Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history, wrote the modern classic A Brief History of Time to help non-scientists understand fundamental questions of physics and our existence: where did the universe come from? How and why did it begin? Will it come to an end, and if so, how?
Hawking attempts to deal with these questions (and where we might look for answers) using a minimum of technical jargon. Among the topics gracefully covered are gravity, black holes, the Big Bang, the nature of time and physicists' search for a grand unifying theory.
This is deep science; the concepts are so vast (or so tiny) that they cause mental vertigo while reading, and one can't help but marvel at Hawking's ability to synthesise this difficult subject for people not used to thinking about things like alternate dimensions. The journey is certainly worth taking for as Hawking says, the reward of understanding the universe may be a glimpse of "the mind of God".
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Top reviews from Australia
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More than really engaging with the book, I mostly was listening as it was being read. The level of the content started out relatively simply then rocketed off away from my puny brain. I did find myself in awe of some of the concepts Hawking explains and ties together so well.
Less of a history of time and moreso an analysis of the concepts and theories that determine the way we consider time and all that it entails. I was very impressed by the work that Hawking and the physics community have put into the thinking around our universe and place within.
The book encouraged me to find another entry point and pursue such thoughts to better understand all the forces that hold our world(s) together. Fantastic book!
Overall, good. I now realise how much we still don't know about the universe, and the short histories of Einstein, Galileo, and Newton were interesting and make me want to read more.
Top reviews from other countries
Stephen Hawking takes us on a journey from the time when the world believed that Earth was the center of the universe and supported on the back of a giant tortoise to our age when we know better. Without the use of any mathematical equation, except the one famous mass energy equivalence relation by Einstein, he has explained the nature of our universe, from the smallest particles which cannot be seen to the biggest entities, the black holes in a simple language.
The manner in which Hawking broke down complex concepts in theoretical physics, along with his adept use of humor, he clearly won over the readers who otherwise might have found themselves intimidated by physics and maths.
I recommend it to all people who are interested in physics and cosmology but hate equations. 😄
Perhaps part of A Brief History Of Time’s remarkable success lies in a nostalgic reaction. People used to live in houses with one big room. Go to Anne Hathaway’s house in Stratford and you’ll see how a sixteenth century hall was split into the rooms of later centuries. Perhaps, in a figurative sense, we look into a tiny room in the attic - where the physicist has a study - and yearn to return to that big hall where everyone is in it together.
So how did Stephen Hawking do? I have to admit to reading general books on physics that I have found much easier and more compelling - Superforce for example, by Paul Davies, an accomplished physicist in his own right. This is a book I read back in the 1980s after failing, on that occasion, to get to the end of A Brief History. But Stephen Hawking was one of the most famous physicists of modern times, isolated both by his esoteric field of expertise and his illness. Looking into the study of such a man increases the frisson.
Overall I would say I caught the gist of at least some of A Brief History, without feeling I gained a deep knowledge of anything. Maybe that is an inevitable part of what us general readers might call the Dilettante Principle, our equivalent of the Uncertainty Principle. You can either know a little about a lot, or a lot about a little, but not both.
I think if I’m honest I was more interested in the book not so much for what was in it - which I often had a tough time following - but for what it represents about the times we live in, where people know more and more about smaller and smaller areas. A lot of good books are like that. They catch a moment.