- Library Binding: 256 pages
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439503923
- ISBN-13: 978-1439503928
- Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (608 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Brief History of Time Library Binding – 26 Jun 2008
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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 synthesize 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". --Therese Littleton, Amazon.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"[Hawking] can explain the complexities of cosmological physics with an engaging combination of clarity and wit. . . . His is a brain of extraordinary power."--"The New York Review of Books"
"Lively and provocative . . . Mr. Hawking clearly possesses a natural teacher's gifts--easy, good-natured humor and an ability to illustrate highly complex propositions with analogies plucked from daily life."--"The New York Times"
"Even as he sits helpless in his wheelchair, his mind seems to soar ever more brilliantly across the vastness of space and time to unlock the secrets of the universe."--"Time"
"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" (London)
"A masterful summary of what physicists now think the world is made of and how it got that way."--"The Wall Street Journal"
"Charming and lucid . . . [A book of] sunny brilliance."--"The New Yorker"
[Hawking] can explain the complexities of cosmological physics with an engaging combination of clarity and wit. . . . His is a brain of extraordinary power. The New York Review of Books
Lively and provocative . . . Mr. Hawking clearly possesses a natural teacher s gifts easy, good-natured humor and an ability to illustrate highly complex propositions with analogies plucked from daily life. The New York Times
Even as he sits helpless in his wheelchair, his mind seems to soar ever more brilliantly across the vastness of space and time to unlock the secrets of the universe. Time
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 (London)
A masterful summary of what physicists now think the world is made of and how it got that way. The Wall Street Journal
Charming and lucid . . . [A book of] sunny brilliance. The New Yorker" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
'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.Read more ›
I notice that one reviewer has called this book "A Con Job" and goes on to ask "If he [Hawking] is such a great genius why do we never come across his name in the history of science? What major breakthroughs has he made? ... One reviewer admitted that he [Hawking] did not understand more than 60% of the book. I certainly didn't understand more than 10%". Well let's answer the first part shall we? Stephen Hawking provided a mathmatical proof for the big-bang theory and has done extensive research into the workings of black-holes. Are these not major breakthroughs? I certainally think so. The fact that the reviwer understood less than 10% of the content perhaps says more about his intelligence that the quality of the book.
The book is fairly short (240 pages) and this is to its credit - it is long enough to introduce and explain difficult concepts, but short enough not to bore you.
All in all, this is an great book - give it a try!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A really interesting read from Stephen Hawking- it actually made physics enjoyable. I will probably read again because there is alot to take in but it is fascinating stuff. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Lesley M
My brother in law loved it. He said it was deep but well worth reading. XoPublished 18 days ago by Loraine O'Brien
I read this book aged 11, it changed me, introduced me to highly cognitive thoeries and orthogonal thinking. Read morePublished 26 days ago by max peel