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A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?
Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.
Hawking's discovery that black holes emit particles caused great excitement among astronomers. In this succinct overview of current theories of the cosmos, the Cambridge University physicist modestly weaves in his own notable contributions while giving due credit to his colleagues. He explains why relativity implies that a "big bang'' occurred and examines string theory, which posits a universe of 10 or 26 dimensions. His understanding of time's flow leads him to conclude that intelligent beings can only exist during the expansion phase of our increasingly chaotic universe. New research on black holes and subatomic particles holds implications for scientists who, like Hawking, are attempting to devise a unified theory linking Einstein to quantum mechanics. The merit of this book is Hawking's ability to make these ideas graspable by the lay reader.
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Review of A Brief History of Time
I enjoyed reading this book although it took me some time as there is quite a bit to absorb. I appreciate that while Hawking is a well known atheist he actually spends very little time discussing God. In fact, it is not until the last chapter that he really has anything to say about God at all. Even then he doesn’t draw the conclusion that God had nothing to do with the creation of the universe. Hawking seems content to let the reader draw his own conclusions.
I can’t say that after reading this book I am now an expert on the origins of the universe, and that’s okay. That was never the point of the book to begin with. Hawking simply sets up a road map showing where the current theories of physics came from and possible destinations as to where science in general and physics in particular is taking us.
I can see me reading more of Hawking’s books should the opportunity present itself.
Mind bending revelation of our universe
One of the best books that explains the complexities of our universe in an extremely digestible manner. The elegance of the writing is evident from the very beginning. Without getting into mathematical depths Stephen Hawking is able to simplify the reasoning behind some of the most fundamental principles in the world of quantum physics, theory of relativity and black holes! Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
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