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The Illustrated Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe Hardcover – Oct 2003

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Hardcover, Oct 2003
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New Millennium (Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932407073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932407075
  • Product Dimensions: 26.1 x 19.1 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 696,357 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.

Product Description

About the Author

A brilliant scientist and theoretician, Stephan Hawking is a professor of mathematics at Cambridge University. He possess the natural ability to make science popular and enjoyable to the average person, as well as to the scientific community. In The Theory Of Everything, Hawking takes us on a voyage of discovery through time and space to give us a new look at our relation to them. Everyone who has ever gazed into the night skies wondering how the cosmos came to be will enjoy this new exploration.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RR Waller TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Published in 2002, this is the illustrated version of the previous edition; it was a series of seven lectures, the titles of which constitue the chapter headings:

Ideas About the Universe
The Expanding Universe
Black Holes
Black Holes ain't so Black
Origin and Fate of the Universe
The Direction of Time
The Theory of Everything

In his usual lucid, succinct style, he explores and explains aspects of many of the most challenging areas of physics. He has always had the ability to render the complex into words accessible to the "normal" man.

"So long as the universe had a beginning that was a singularity, one could suppose that it was created by an outside agency. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would be neither created nor destroyed. It would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?" (P 126)

One may not agree with all his ideas, but he is certainly thought-provoking going where few men have gone before and he is unafraid "to boldly go".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phil Price on 30 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent read and inspirational book if you are interested in the origins of the universe and whether its possible to meld General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics into a Theory of Everything.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. King on 29 Mar. 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you enjoy reading up on science but feel that you're at a point of understanding where it appears to be too complex then you must buy this book.
The whole theories behind space and time are laid out on the pages with added help of illustrations where necessary. Starting the book in layman's terms, the chapters progress to become more and more advanced and before you know it, you completely understand the basics behind the history of our universe.
If facts are what you're into, then this is a must!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pash on 28 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having already read The Universe in a Nutshell, and A Briefer History of Time, I was disappointed that this book did little to offer new, or more simplified, explanations of many of the key concepts of Hawking and friends. The description of the book as 'The Illustrated" was also a letdown as it contains less effective illustrations than The Universe in a Nutshell. Neither does the book stand on it's own for new readers to Hawking. I'm afraid Hawking still assumes that the average reader understands things like quantum mechanics and basic astrophysics when giving us his explanations of such things as the concept of space time, or string theory. I'm not sure who the book is pitched at.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Early work of Hawking's he didn't want published now 6 Aug. 2004
By Peter W. Shor - Published on
Format: Hardcover
On his website, [...] Hawking says that he wrote this years ago, it does not reflect his latest views (contrary to the cover blurb), and that he did not endorse its publication. I just wanted to pass this information along. There's a lot more reviews mentioning this for an earlier edition of this book, without "illustrated" in the title, so if you want to buy the book look at those first. Setting aside the misinformation in the advertising (for which I'm giving it one star), and the change in Hawking's views, it's a reasonable book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Caveat Emptor 11 Jun. 2007
By Steve Reina - Published on
Format: Paperback
True, the book does not represent Hawking's latest views, but for those wishing to wade into the shallow end of Hawking's writing this is not bad.

Coming in at a short 112 pages, this heavily illustrated book gives one a opportunity to at least familiarize themselves with issues that Hawking gives much more detailed treatment to in his other works: A brief history of time, Black holes and Baby Universes and On the Shoulders of Giants.

One good for instance is his chapter on the arrow of time. In it Hawking observes that there is not only one but several arrows of time. Though he only talks about cosmic expansion, gravitation and the perceptual arrows of time (and not Kaon decay or the quantum arrow of time which may be the master arrow), one still gets the idea that there are physical reasons for why time assumes a directionality.

Another example is his final chapter on the quest for a theory of everything. Though now -- particularly with waning enthusiasm for string theory -- there is reasoned speculation that maybe there may never be a theory of everything, his chapter stills reflects how many view still view the search.

And finally, his chapter on black hole radiation harkens back to the research that originally put him on the map, his 1974 finding that black holes do indeed radiate and even given enough time will decay.

All together, Hawking's book shows the lucid explanatory power of one who both knows and knows how to explain.

So yes, by all means, read this book, but don't stop here and read the rest of his books too.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Advanced astrophysics for dummies 15 July 2006
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The general consensus is that the three greatest physicists of all time are Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Unfortunately, Hawking is often known more for his lack of physical prowess than for his prowess in physics. He possesses a brilliant mind, and is also very effective at the writing of popular science. Hawking has an uncanny ability to make the incredibly complex ideas of astrophysics understandable to people who have difficulty balancing an algebraic equation.

Hawking is once again at the top of his game with this book. It is a collection of the seven popular lectures that he presented to the public. Their titles are:

*) Ideas about the universe

*) The expanding universe

*) Black holes

*) Black holes ain't so black

*) The origin and fate of the universe

*) The direction of time

*) The theory of everything

Each is fairly short; the ideas are explained without the reference to equations. There are many illustrations that give a visual explanation of concepts such as the curvature of space, the expansion and contraction of the universe and the direction of time.

If you have an interest in the fate of the universe but always felt that advanced astrophysics was beyond you, then this is the book for you. It doesn't explain everything, but it does show you the best current theories of how the universe started, how it is constructed and how it appears that it will end.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mixed Bag 19 Jun. 2012
By David Milliern - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is definitely a book that is a mixed bag. It is one whose identity of the intended audience I am unsure of. I really can't say who this book has been written for, yet I think it can be an enjoyable book. I am not at all convinced that someone who has read A Brief History of Time will have the appropriate familiarity with the concepts in this book to see it as worthwhile --and believe me when I say that this book is a compilations of lectures that lacks all introductory information necessary to understand it. What's more, I can see the graduate student of physics could be bored by this book. Therefore, in considering who has the knowledge to handle this book, and who (with the knowledge) would not be bored by it, I have concluded that this book must be geared towards the undergraduate student of the sciences. I hope this little excursion into trying to figure out at whom this book is directed conveys some of my frustration with it.

These grumblings aside, the book is not bad. Basically, the book presents topics in physics that are at the frontier, and which are topics of a great deal of discussion. Additionally, the format of these lectures is more like that of public lectures than a university style lectures, as no technical mathematics is presented.

Overall, I would say this: who you are will greatly determine whether you will enjoy this book. It was a bit banal for me, given my background in physics. If you don't have an undergraduate knowledge of science, but have read an inordinate amount of popular physics, or are willing to actively research terms and concepts while reading, then you will do fine, I think; but you will not be able to read this book straight through, front to back.

To conclude, this is a four star book for an audience like undergraduates of sciences, but more like a two star book for most everyone else. Hawking also says (on his website: [..] ) that he wishes the this particular book weren't still in print, because it no longer reflects his views, so that is one more point to consider, if you are think about buying this on. For me, that consideration is what made the book slightly more interesting of a read.
Good, but it has its flaws. 2 Jan. 2010
By A. Burke - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've just read a copy of the hardcover version of "The Illustrated Theory of Everything" by Hawking, and I have to say that it is a very good (and easy) read for anybody who wants to know the basics of astrophysics (e.i. the origins of the universe, black holes, etc.). The book is really just a series of seven lectures by Hawking, first published in the mid-1990s under the title "The Cambridge Lectures." So, it should be noted that some of the content is out of date.

While many of the illustrations in the book are amazing, especially the Hubble pictures, they are mostly useless. Also, I noticed a few odd editorial problems in the book. For example, at one point it is stated that there are about "1,080" particles in the universe, but clearly this is meant to be 10^80 (10 to the 80th power) particles in the universe.

Still, this is a very interesting read. And since the book is so short (110 pages + a short forward and an intro), it wont take too much of your time - so, if this subject does end up grabbing your interest, you can go out and buy a book that's more in-depth and updated.
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