A Brief History Of Time: And Other Essays

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A Brief History Of Time: And Other Essays

by Stephen Hawking

Random House Publishing Group | September 1, 1998 | Trade Paperback

A Brief History Of Time: And Other Essays is rated 4.5556 out of 5 by 9.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8.97 × 5.99 × 0.62 in

Published: September 1, 1998

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553380168

ISBN - 13: 9780553380163

Found in: Science and Nature

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Briefly Genius While reading this book I learned there is a lot of this world and of myself that I have yet to discover and understand. While I would say half of this book was quite over my head in terms of quantam mechanics, the bits I learned was impressive. This book was put together probably as simple as advanced mathematics, quantam mechanics, physics, science and the universe can be put in to lament's terms. I think as I read it over, and perhaps more of his books I will continue to learn and expand my understanding of the world I live in. I am grateful that Mr. Hawkings has even taken the time to write to the 'normal' folks and masses what the brilliant minds of this world have discovered. It makes me strive to understand and learn more about who we are, where we came from and where we are heading as a civilization and as a universe.
Date published: 2011-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of My Favourite Science Books One of my favourite books is A Brief History of Time, written by Stephen Hawking. This book is famous like its author. Its wonder lies in the fact that the forefront of physics is portrayed in laymen's terms. Thus the theories behind quantum mechanics, relativity, black holes, time travel, and wormholes can all be comprehended by the average person. Every time I pick up this paperback, I feel humbled by the grandeur of our mysterious universe. Needless to say, the origin of the universe may just provide a clue to the birth of life. Of all the theories described in the book, I was most intrigued by Einstein's special theory of relativity. Before the dawn of the 20th Century, the Michelson-Morley experiment was conducted to substantiate the existence of a substance called "ether." Instead, it created a shock wave for the entire scientific community. Throughout the next twenty years, numerous futile attempts were made to explain the surprising results of the experiment. In the end, it was Einstein's special theory of relativity that came to the rescue. A remarkable consequence of relativity is that it revolutionized our ideas of space and time. Before Einstein's heydays, Newtonian physics indicated that space was not absolute, meaning different observers of a moving object may conclude differently about the distance it travelled. However, time was always assumed to be absolute, i.e., different observers would always agree on the time it took an object to traverse through space. Einstein took Newton's theories and took a step back. He claimed that if one lets go of the idea of absolute time, then we need not "invent" the idea of ether. Nor would we be troubled by the Michelson-Morley experiment. The notion of absolute time, however, is so deeply engraved in our minds that even today, it is difficult to discard. Einstein went on to come up with unconventional predictions of how objects behave when they approach the speed of light. These imaginary experiments came to be known as Einstein's paradoxes. Perhaps the most famous one is the twins paradox: A twin steps on a spaceship and travels at the speed of light for 20 years according to his watch. When he returns to Earth, he will find that much more time has indeed elapsed during his absence and his twin brother is now 100 years older than him. You might find it hard to accept this outcome. That is why it is called a paradox in the first place. However, this is not so difficult any more if you think of time being relative. Einstein's brilliance in my opinion, lies not in his discovery of relativity, but the manner in which he did it. In order to reach his conclusions, he took a step back from well known physics principles. Instead of taking for granted the firmly-entrenched view that time was absolute, he chose to doubt it. In the end, he took a completely opposite stance. As a result, every road block baffling the scientific world then was instantly removed. Einstein's work prompted me to wonder whether we can always take our assumptions for granted. Sometimes, moving a step backwards and re-evaluating popular opinion is not a bad idea. Of course, to his credit, Einstein also applied immense creativity and ingenuity to secure the fantastic success that he enjoyed. Nonetheless, I will keep this lesson in mind on my quest for knowledge. -PTS www.parttimescholar.com
Date published: 2010-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from You're supposed to be setting a good example. Science! Most of this is wrong, but since I only have 1000 words to comment, it's not like I can go into a detailed description. Let's just say that Mr. Stephen Hawking is no Good Will Hunting. With regards, Phillip Fresno.
Date published: 2004-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Theories of Time Traveling This book by Stephen Hawking was excellent becasue he explained each layer of the theories very well. The pictures and diagrams explained the idea of the theories. The book was well seperated so that each chapter was different, but somehow related. I learned a lot from the book, and I felt a great need of learning more on this topic. Good job, Mr.Hawking!
Date published: 2001-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent introduction to quantum mechanics and th This is an excellent read for any quantum physicist who wants to understand the basic nature and history of the universe. Perhaps one day, there will be one unifying theory for the whole of the cosmos, but until then, this book is quite satisfactory.
Date published: 2000-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Brief History of Time: UPDATED AND EXPANDED TENT Stephen Hawking has a knack for explaining extremely complex ideas in a manner comprehensible to a layman. Most of the theories he discusses involve complicated mathematics, yet he is able to explain them in simple terms. His wry sense of humour often peeks out from behind serious discussions, such as his opinion of the likelihood of a particle accelerator the size of the solar system being built. (unlikely under present economic circumstances) This is a book worth owning and reading several times. Each re-reading brings you a little closer to understanding the leading edge research on how the universe works.
Date published: 2000-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mystical Universe finally understood! Stephen Hawking has an incredible talent, for having been able to seize my brain, and actually making me understand (finally) an enormous chunk of science. His book is for anyone who wants to know more.... even though they think they wouldn't be able to understand! I loved it, and I am now interested in science, astronomy and physics more than ever... and I haven't even passed Science in High School once!!!
Date published: 2000-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quality This book was an excellent introduction to the world of advanced physics. Hawking has a gift for explaining abstractions in simple terms. I need to take a breather, then read it again just to soak up more of what it has to offer.
Date published: 2000-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from prerequisite: none I liked how Stephen Hawking explains in plain English how the universe was created. There are also some crazy theories on black holes (like harnessing their power to fuel things on earth) and time travel that I could actually understand. I FEEL smarter having read this book.
Date published: 1999-12-17

– More About This Product –

A Brief History Of Time: And Other Essays

by Stephen Hawking

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8.97 × 5.99 × 0.62 in

Published: September 1, 1998

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553380168

ISBN - 13: 9780553380163

Read from the Book

Chapter One Our picture of the universe A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!” Most people would find the picture of our universe as an infinite tower of tortoises rather ridiculous, but why do we think we know better? What do we know about the universe, and how do we know it? Where did the universe come from, and where is it going? Did the universe have a beginning, and if so, what happened before then? What is the nature of time? Will it ever come to an end? Can we go back in time? Recent breakthroughs in physics, made possible in part by fantastic new technologies, suggest answers to some of these longstanding questions. Someday these answers may seem as obvious to us as the earth orbiting the sun–or perhaps as ridiculous as a tower of tortoises. Only time (whatever that may be) will tell. As long ago as 340 B.C. the Gree
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From the Publisher

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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.

From the Jacket

"A Brief History of Time, published in 1988, was a landmark volume in science writing and in world-wide acclaim and popularity, with more than 9 million copies in print globally. The original edition was on the cutting edge of what was then known about the origins and nature of the universe. But the ensuing years have seen extraordinary advances in the technology of observing both the micro- and the macrocosmic world--observations that have confirmed many of Hawking''s theoretical predictions in the first edition of his book.
Now a decade later, this edition updates the chapters throughout to document those advances, and also includes an entirely new chapter on Wormholes and Time Travel and a new introduction. It make vividly clear why "A Brief History of Time has transformed our view of the universe.

About the Author

Stephen Hawking is Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge; his other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and The Universe in a Nutshell.

From Our Editors

In the decade since its publication, Stephen Hawking's classic work has become a landmark volume in scientific writing. The 10th anniversary edition of A Brief History of Time includes a new introduction from Hawking as well as an entirely new chapter on wormholes and time travel. A journey through the amazing secrets at the heart of time and space, this is one of the best books on astrophysics for the common reader.

Editorial Reviews

“[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

“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)
 
“Masterful.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Charming and lucid . . . [A book of] sunny brilliance.”—The New Yorker

“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
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