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The Illustrated A Brief History of Time: Updated and Expanded Edition by Stephen Hawking (Oct 1 1996) [Hardcover]

Stephen Hawking
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Bantam (1001)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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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First Sentence
A WELL-KNOWN SCIENTIST (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quantum mechanics and Relativity for Dummies! 18 April 2002
By A Customer
This book explains the concepts introduced in the "Brief history of Time" more clearly with the use of outstanding illustrations and graphs. People that read the original edition will now be able to understand the somewhat cryptic notions using beautiful representations of the microcosm and macrocosm. A must for people interested in science.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Quality 18 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This is a truelly amazing book it has to be said. Anyone interested in space and time travel etc must buy this book. It's not one of those books you buy and then never read, you'll be hooked in no time. Before you know it you will be understanding how space really works. Explained with amazing clarity by the true master of space. A must buy for anyone.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read 12 Oct 2004
By Paul
I started out with low expectations, i thought i was going to be overwhelmed by incomprehensible facts and figures. I would be lying if i said its an easy book to read, its not, you have to give it maximum attention or else you will miss bits, but for such a complex topic Hawking does an excellent job of making it manageable for those of us who aren't geniuses yet are mildly interested in the subject, and the illustrations make it even more so.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking Great Enough to Match the Cosmos 18 Nov 2003
For anyone looking for a great, comprehensible explanation of the current state of the theories driving today's physics, this is it. Hawking has taken everything from the early history of thinking about the universe, its laws and composition, to the latest developments on black holes and string theory and placed it in a remarkably lucid set of explanations that detail the concepts behind all the mathematics that is so intimidating to most. This book is written without a single equation or a single statement on the order of "From the above, it is obvious that..." Instead, we proceed from the (comparatively) simple concepts about the everyday observable world of gravity, planets, and stars, travel carefully along the historical path of scientific observations as they modify and enhance the simple theories till we reach the world of quantum mechanics, the big bang, wormholes, and Grand Unified Field Theories. Each concept is fully explained, and with this expanded second edition, many of the concepts are beautifully illustrated with drawings and photographs.
And, possibly surprising to some people, as we enter the rarified air of today's theories, we see that the line between physics and philosophy is a very thin one, and ruminations about the origin of the Universe lead to discussions about God and fate. Here we see why Hawking is one of the premier physicists of today, as he obviously thinks in same kind of conceptual language that this book is written in, capable of looking at the meaning behind the mathematics and how it relates to us as humans.
Physics students and engineers may not find very much new here, but even they may benefit from the clear thought lines presented here, forcing a look at the meaning behind all the esoteric symbols that are their everyday working fare.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A picture explains a thousand words. 18 Jun 2007
I'm a scientist, but not a mathematician or a physicist. I have, like many people, an educated layman's knowledge of the universe and am keen to learn more.

As such, I rely on popular versions of some hard thinking to access and enjoy my interests. Reading through the original version, I hit treacle about two thirds through and (from what I'm told) missed a fine climax to an excellent book.

This is different. I've often thought that a great mind can tie together complex ideas and information in a clear and simple way.

This is the result of a truly great mind. It's beautifully written, simple, concise and (although it still requires an investment of thought and time) is far more accessible.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone interested in this area.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars illustrated version 2 Feb 2010
I had been reading this paperback version but found this new illustrated version made the reading of this book so much more interesting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brief History of Time (illustrated 31 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Cant give this a full review as I've only read a little bit of this so far, but what I will say is that the book itself is very nice, the illustrations seem very helpful (I'm definitely glad I got the illustrated version) and its not too sciencey (so far) so it seems a great starting point for novices to this subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book showed me the light! 28 Nov 2010
Mathematics and the distances in the univers appear abstract to most of us,at least to me.I have read many books about the topics,but this book,thanks to brilliant illustrations and Hawkings way of making complicated connections "easy" to understand,made me "see" the black holes and the space/time line.His use of comparing everyday phenomenons we all have experienced with the topic he is explaining make it possibel to understand for a layman.The scale is a bit bigger though! And there is a lot of good humor and understatements.Read it!

Lars Ruud-NORWAY
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