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A Brief History of Time Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 1 Jan 1988


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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Dove Books; Unabridged edition (1 Jan. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558001131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558001138
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 10.8 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 726,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Hawking is Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller. His other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe and The Universe in a Nutshell.

In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. Since 1979 he has held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking has over a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the CBE in 1982. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Science. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By liam on 1 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
Reading this book was a pleasure. I found the content presented in an understandable tongue that was story like in the way I found myself drawn into this history of the universe. Of course as a layman some of the science is beyond me, but only because i do not have the necessary background to fully comprehend the full implications of the theories discussed. However not once did I feel unable to continue with the book. It was well written, well researched and fully recommend this book to anyone interested in finding out what one of themost forefront physicists of ourtime has to say about the universe are part of.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By chez198 on 9 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
I have heard many people complain that this book is impossible to read, that you'd need be a physicist to understand it. This is true in some sense as the first few chapters will be a lot more enjoyable if you have a basic knowledge of relativity and QM, but frankly you could attain this by watching youtube videos.

The book itself is truly fascinating. As someone who has read many popular physics books before, I will say the explanations of concepts such as the uncertainty principle and the curvature of spacetime are the easiest to understand that I've ever read. Refreshing. The most interesting chapter is definitely the short but nonetheless intriguing one on string theories near the end - again, a simple explanation of what is an extremely complex idea. In fact, the only parts of this book I struggled at all with were the descriptions of imaginary time and inflationary expansion of the universe.

The only complaint would be that Hawking does venture off occasionally into philosophy, and as someone who loves physics so much, this made some parts a little dull.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Reading a few other reviews, I realise the book has had a mixed reception with great strengths of feeling at either extreme, one even describing it as a "con job", others questioning Hawking's scientific credentials.
A phenomenon himself (although I am sure he would not like that description), I do not question his genius or his contributions to the world of science, especially after reading this. Theoretical physics and cosmology are "rocket-science", just not as tangible, and writing a popular, easily-accessible book on these challenging subjects must have been a real challenge in itself, trying to bring complex theories to the page, theories more often expressed in high-level mathematics.
Einstein pointed out that he rarely thought in language dealing with these subjects and that imagination was an essential tool; Hawking uses both language and his imagination effectively.
Hawking's book is an international best-seller (no recommendation itself, I know) but there seems to be more positive feedback than negative. I enjoyed the book, particularly:
2 Space and Time
3 The Expanding Universe
6 Black Holes
8 The Origins of the Universe
11 Conclusion Einstein, Galilei and Newton.

Fascinated by what I don't know and not knowing what I don't know, I found the book informative, accessible and well-written. Anyone struggling with the nature of the Universe itself in such an enthusiastic, knowledgeable way after an introduction by Carl Sagan, must be worthy of consideration. He is.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 July 2000
Format: Paperback
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Physics and/or Maths. It is fair to say that this book goes into a greater amount of detail than may be desired by the general reader.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 20 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
The mark of a true educator, which Stephen Hawking certainly is, is that he would take time (very valuable time, in his case) away from research and contemplation of the great mysteries of the universe to write a piece that would serve to help explain to the greater number of less-scientifically-adept persons the fruits and implications of modern scientific research from the cutting edge of physics. Hawking is ranked in popular and scientific thinking on a par with Einstein, and has motor neuron disability that severely restricts his ability to move, even to type or write, so, when he takes time to write something for general consumption, it is probably going to be worthwhile. And indeed, this is.
'Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve sales. I therefore resolved not to have any equations at all. In the end, however, I did put in one equation, Einstein's famous equation. I hope that this will not scare off half of my potential readers.'
Hawking begins by exploring the large scale structure of the universe (time being part of the `fabric' of the universe, in spacetime), the connections of space and time as a relatively new concept in thinking of the universe, and the way the universe `acts' (cosmological dynamics). From there, he explores the universe at a very basic level, as elementary particles and forces of nature, introducing quarks.
'There are a number of different varieties of quarks: there are thought to be at least six "flavours", which we call up, down, strange, charmed, bottom and top. Each flavour comes in three "colours", red, green and blue. ...We now know that neither the atoms nor the protons and neutrons within them are indivisible.
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