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on 8 March 2017
Everything you want to know, easily explained without making you feel like you are reading a dummy's guide.
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on 24 January 2016
Very good
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on 13 February 2006
This book manages to make some of the most complex science in human history accessible and understandable. I haven't studied science for 20 years but with some perseverance I managed to learn an incredible amount from this book. Also it is full of incident, and human drama, and humour, and all kinds of entertaining anecdotes which sweeten the pill when you have to wade through 500 pages of physics! Not only did I learn about the Big Bang theory (which I now realise is no more a "theory" than radio waves or electricity) but I found myself genuinely understanding for the first time lots of physics I had supposedly already "learned". And not just physics: geography, astronomy, history... It's not an easy read, but well within the grasp of most educated people: a book that repays your effort and then some.
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on 1 June 2007
Simon Singh has put together one of the best books of the popular science genre. Tired of all the maternity literature, I bought the "Big Bang" in a desperate urge only the 8th month of pregnancy can ignite. And a wonderful read it was. He has the most complex formulas explained through a smooth narrative of historical development of the Big Bang theory. It is a most compelling evidence of a beautiful marriage the natural and humanitarian sciences may have if put together this masterfully. The best thing about it is that I now can fearlessly answer to my curious little ones' questions on where we come from and why.
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on 1 April 2006
Particle physicist, Simon Singh, carries you on an interlectual journey through the creation and evolution of the universe. This is a powerful and insightful book into understanding science, and gives an elegant interpretation of the Big Bang theory - the explosive birth of the cosmos. Don't be fearful if your grasp of physics and mathematics is less than you would wish. The author's explanations are in simple to understand logic. Singh also gives the reader an engaging insight into the lives of scientists through the ages, and how the thinkining and religeous beliefs of the day, in many cases, was the enemy of enlightenment. Some of these great thinkers were ahead of their time and tragically became martyrs, others heroes in their own lifetime. Singh's book tells how science and the Big Bang theory have revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos. It will stretch your mind and your imagination. A must for every home library.
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on 4 January 2005
This is one of the most enjoyable popular science books I've read. Not only is it about the big bang theory itself, it also serves as a very informative account of cosmology through the ages, from the ingeneous methods of discovery of the distances to the sun, moon and stars to the famous contributions to science made by Copernicus, Gallileo, Rutherford etc. Even though I was already familiar with much of the science in this book, the relaxed, easy to read and often very amusing nature of the text made every single page enjoyable. We are almost always given an insight into the personalities of the men and women behind the discoveries, and Singh takes great care to show us the spirit and excitement of scientfic discovery.
The physics involved is very gentle, and the author makes a lot of effort not to lose the readers, with many explanations and metaphors making everything clear. As a result, the book should probably appeal to people ranging from those who know very little of cosmology to those who, like myself, may have read a few other popular accounts of the subject.
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on 5 March 2010
I review few books but I am taken enough with this book to pick up my pen!

I found this book easy to read and very informative.What it amounts to is that you are taken through a history of cosmology from the very earliest times in an interesting way, from Erastothenes and others through Ptolemy then on to Copernicus, Kepler and on to more modern times. This historical approach gives you an excellent understanding of the issues and an understanding of the significance of new discoveries as they were made. I found the tables contrasting the way various theories met the observations and criticisms of their time very useful. It made me understand why even after Copernicus people did not have to be silly to reject the sun centred solar system postulated by him.

The same applies to the advances of the twentieth century developments described in the book all made even more interesting by snapshots of the characters of the people involved. One thinks of science as being objective but human subjectivity also plays a part in determining what is the fashionable theory of the time.

Overall I have emerged from this book with an understanding not only of the Big Bang but of how the Greeks with the simplest of equipment managed to estimate the circumference of the earth, the size of the moon, the distance to the moon and the sun; of the solar system; of the development of our elements most of which come from super nova which are very much post Big Bang and with us of course to-day.

Recommended even to those without any scientific background.
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on 17 August 2006
Simon Singh eloquently and engagingly weaves the story of the development of scientific understanding that leads to the theory of the Big Bang. This is the explanation of how the edifice was built, brick by brick. Clearly written, it does not assume detailed scientific knowledge, but explains concepts in understandable language.It should be required reading for all science teachers, not for the scientific content but for a demonstration of the art of the possible in simple explanation.

This book is up there with "The Ascent of Man" and "A Short History of Nearly Everything".

As an aside, this is also the best example of art of summarising material that I have ever seen - each chapter of around 80 pages is summed up in 2 sides of notes - without losing anything.
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I LOVE this book! Never have I started a review like this, but boy do I love this book. I read a LOT of books and this one had me gripped from the first page and kept me engrossed and stimulated the whole way through. Singh manages to explain complex ideas and theories in such a way that they are rendered clear and coherent and allow you to understand the difficult themes surrounding cosmology and the big bang theory. This book starts by looking at Copernicus, Galileo, Newton etc and showing how their ideas lead to modern cosmology research and development, it explores the development of telescopes and other measuring apparatus (more interesting than it sounds!) and how discoveries were made about galaxies millions of km's away from earth. It looks at opposing theories and the controversies surrounding them and how each theory gained ground and was either disproved or confirmed. This book is littered with anecdotes and humorous asides that add to the enjoyment of reading, as well as increasing your understanding. You also get a real feel for the excitement of discovery and of the various protagonists of the various theories and debates. At the end of each chapter you get a wonderfully illustrated and condensed summary that allows you to solidify the knowledge gained before going on to the next chapter, as well as allowing you to go back to this book and refreshing your memory. It has loads of clear tables and illustrations to explain particular points and various photos to compliment the text. Rarely have I enjoyed a book as much as this in the past few years and i've loved the sense of wonder and trains of thought it has lead me on. I could gush about this book for ages (as you may be able to tell!) but needless to say it comes HIGHLY recommended indeed.

Dedicated to Stephen A. Haines whose reviews inspired me to read some amazing science books and who will be greatly missed.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 5 May 2012
I must admit I enjoyed the read. The style is very fluent. However the title is a little misleading as the majority of the book is taken with an engaging history lesson of astronomy theory, observational astronomy and old cosmological theories.

I must admit I was hoping for a little more cutting edge Big Bang Theory and explanation.

I was also disappointed, that as a scientist, S Singh didn't postulate that the Big Bang Theory may be in error? For instance it only works if there is Dark Energy and Dark Matter. Two postulates put in to fudge the maths of current Big Bang Theory. Plus the initial 50K figure brought forward by the BBT proponents was 47K out when COBE actually mapped it? I think a chapter or two on possible faults with the theory may actually have supported it better. No theory is perfect.

The book scoffs a little at the "round Earthers" and "Ptolmeys' Universe". However it falls into the same trap of thinking The Big Bang is the be all and end all (which it may well be).
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