The Universe in a Nutshell

by Stephen Hawking

Random House Publishing Group | November 6, 2001 | Hardcover

The Universe in a Nutshell is rated 4.125 out of 5 by 8.
Stephen Hawking’s phenomenal, multimillion-copy bestseller, A Brief History of Time, introduced the ideas of this brilliant theoretical physicist to readers all over the world.

Now, in a major publishing event, Hawking returns with a lavishly illustrated sequel that unravels the mysteries of the major breakthroughs that have occurred in the years since the release of his acclaimed first book.

The Universe in a Nutshell

• Quantum mechanics
• M-theory
• General relativity
• 11-dimensional supergravity
• 10-dimensional membranes
• Superstrings
• P-branes
• Black holes

One of the most influential thinkers of our time, Stephen Hawking is an intellectual icon, known not only for the adventurousness of his ideas but for the clarity and wit with which he expresses them. In this new book Hawking takes us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, to explain in laymen’s terms the principles that control our universe.

Like many in the community of theoretical physicists, Professor Hawking is seeking to uncover the grail of science — the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos. In his accessible and often playful style, he guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe — from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality.

He takes us to the wild frontiers of science, where superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle. And he lets us behind the scenes of one of his most exciting intellectual adventures as he seeks “to combine Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman’s idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe.”

With characteristic exuberance, Professor Hawking invites us to be fellow travelers on this extraordinary voyage through space-time. Copious four-color illustrations help clarify this journey into a surreal wonderland where particles, sheets, and strings move in eleven dimensions; where black holes evaporate and disappear, taking their secret with them; and where the original cosmic seed from which our own universe sprang was a tiny nut.

The Universe in a Nutshell is essential reading for all of us who want to understand the universe in which we live. Like its companion volume, A Brief History of Time, it conveys the excitement felt within the scientific community as the secrets of the cosmos reveal themselves.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 10.14 × 7.78 × 0.9 in

Published: November 6, 2001

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 055380202X

ISBN - 13: 9780553802023

Found in: Astrophysics and Space Science

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking is a very interesting read. It has blown my mind in some ways by discussing topics I have never even thought about before! I had no idea that time had a shape or that there is possibly multiple histories of the universe. Hawking was mostly able to simplify the very complex concepts that were presented in this book in a way that I, as a grade 12 student, was able to understand. Some parts were still above my understanding, but the pictures and diagrams helped me figure out the main points Hawking was trying to make. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn about the universe, and to those who want to supplement their understanding of physics and chemistry.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read, Very Interesting The Universe In A Nutshell by Stephen Hawking is a must read for anyone interested in the origin and structure of our universe. Although it can be somewhat challenging at times, it is a very interesting and well-written book and is a great introduction to the world of theoretical physics. From beginning to end, Hawking does an excellent job of explaining the complex terms involved in the theories of the universe in a straight forward, easy to understand way. I will admit that when Hawking first started to dive into heavy topics such as imaginary time and the multiple aspects of M-Theory, I was slightly intimidated, but after rereading certain sections multiple times, I never found myself completely lost. Throughout the novel, the ideas discussed build upon each other, therefore it is necessary to try and fully comprehend each section before moving on the next, or risk becoming totally lost. All in all, I found this book to be extremely interesting and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever looked up at the stars and wondered just how our universe works.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Eye Opener Universe in a Nutshell was an amazing eye opener to me as I learned many things about the formation and possible histories of the universe. It made me want to learn even more about histories of the universe and possibly read more books by him. I thought that the first chapter was the best and I did not want it to end. It went into great detail about Einstein’s life and much of his discoveries. I also thought the part where he got really into depth about the black holes was very interesting and I am now planning on reading a Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking. The first two chapters were the main ideas of the book and the chapters following were branches off of them. The book said that you could read the last five chapters in any order but I found that it was much easier to read them in order as there were some small ideas that were carried over to the next chapters. A flaw this book presented was that it seemed to travel off topic very quickly and I found myself having to reread pages just to keep up with the quickly changing topics. The pictures and diagrams did seem to help though when it got confusing as they presented extra information to explain where he was going with is writing. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a high school level understanding of chemistry or physics.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Active Cit Assign. Stephen Hawkins is one of the few geniuses of the world who can communicate his thoughts clearly enough for the average intelligence to understand. The Universe in a Nutshell takes a topic that can be overwhelming and cause most people to avoid educating themselves on and puts it into terms that do not require you to have a PhD. He explains Einstein's theory of relativity and made me realize that I had no idea what it was and that most people who have explained it to me had no idea what it was as well as the impact that it has had on the world still to this day. Not only does he praise Einstein and himself, he offers up theories that many scientist have contributed from all over the world over the past hundred years. Hawkins covers the Quantum theory, time travel along with most of the theoretical physics studied since relativity came about and even some before then to show how revolutionary Einstein's theories were. He uses illustrations to help better understand the concepts he's explaining and they are very helpful and at times humorous. If the universe is something that you have always wanted to better understand but do not have years to devote this is a great book written by a living genius who is responsible for the very convincing big bang theory and he covers that as well.
Date published: 2013-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An interesting read The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking is a truly fascinating book. He makes the concepts easy to understand for the most part, and the added pictures help for a better idea of what he's trying to get across. There were many rules and concepts that I hadn't realized existed and this book cleared up some questions I had about the laws of physics and some chemistry concepts as well. The little fun comments he puts in every now and then also keeps the book light. I found that the book even helped me with some concepts I didn't quite fully understand from class. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is even slightly interested in physics, because it increased my interest in the subject. I am very glad I chose to read it because it turned out to be a striking and exciting novel.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Great Guide to understanding the Universe I really liked this book. Stephen Hawking is not only a genius but his ability to explain complex theories and ideas is amazing, it makes the book enjoyable and not extremely complicated to read. The illustrations are great, and also aid to explain the complicated ideas and theories. Overall i really learned alot by reading this book, some parts may take a little time to understand but once you do its absolutely worth it. If you're looking for a great read, or a rudimentary guide to theoretical physics, this is your ticket. If you're wondering about the 4 stars it's because you have to pay very strict attention to every word, or else you get lost fast. And also because this book is not for everyone. That being said it was a great book and i intend to read Hawking's other works.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Two Thumbs Up “The Universe in a Nutshell” was a really great read, and I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in how the universe works, or with just an interest in physics. Stephen Hawking makes understanding advanced physics surprisingly easy, even for someone like myself who has only a basic understanding of the subject. It isn't too hard to get lost or confused though, so be careful to pay close attention. The creative, colorful, and occasionally humorous diagrams gives you a clear idea of what many physicists of today believe what occurs in the universe. Anyone seeking to learn more about the physics of the universe should definitely read this book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nothing new Being an owner of A Brief History of Time, I found in this book quite many repetitions or things that you have already read if you had already read the previous book. I did not like this book. It is basically a list of names of past and recent model theories of the Universe. The illustrations are very well done, they are the only pedagogical value although some of them are as difficult to understand as the corresponding text.
Date published: 2013-10-29

– More About This Product –

The Universe in a Nutshell

by Stephen Hawking

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 10.14 × 7.78 × 0.9 in

Published: November 6, 2001

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 055380202X

ISBN - 13: 9780553802023

Read from the Book

CHAPTER 2 The Shape of Time Einstein’s general relativity gives time a shape. How this can be reconciled with quantum theory. What is time? Is it an ever-rolling stream that bears all our dreams away, as the old hymn says? Or is it a railroad track? Maybe it has loops and branches, so you can keep going forward and yet return to an earlier station on the line (Fig. 2.1). The nineteenth-century author Charles Lamb wrote: “Nothing puzzles me like time and space. And yet nothing troubles me less than time and space, because I never think of them.” Most of us don’t worry about time and space most of the time, whatever that may be; but we all do wonder sometimes what time is, how it began, and where it is leading us. Any sound scientific theory, whether of time or of any other concept, should in my opinion be based on the most workable philosophy of science: the positivist approach put forward by Karl Popper and others. According to this way of thinking, a scientific theory is a mathematical model that describes and codifies the observations we make. A good theory will describe a large range of phenomena on the basis of a few simple postulates and will make definite predictions that can be tested. If the predictions agree with the observations, the theory survives that test, though it can never be proved to be correct. On the other hand, if the observations disagree with the predictions, one has to discard or modify the theory. (At least, that is what is su
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From the Publisher

Stephen Hawking’s phenomenal, multimillion-copy bestseller, A Brief History of Time, introduced the ideas of this brilliant theoretical physicist to readers all over the world.

Now, in a major publishing event, Hawking returns with a lavishly illustrated sequel that unravels the mysteries of the major breakthroughs that have occurred in the years since the release of his acclaimed first book.

The Universe in a Nutshell

• Quantum mechanics
• M-theory
• General relativity
• 11-dimensional supergravity
• 10-dimensional membranes
• Superstrings
• P-branes
• Black holes

One of the most influential thinkers of our time, Stephen Hawking is an intellectual icon, known not only for the adventurousness of his ideas but for the clarity and wit with which he expresses them. In this new book Hawking takes us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, to explain in laymen’s terms the principles that control our universe.

Like many in the community of theoretical physicists, Professor Hawking is seeking to uncover the grail of science — the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos. In his accessible and often playful style, he guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe — from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality.

He takes us to the wild frontiers of science, where superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle. And he lets us behind the scenes of one of his most exciting intellectual adventures as he seeks “to combine Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman’s idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe.”

With characteristic exuberance, Professor Hawking invites us to be fellow travelers on this extraordinary voyage through space-time. Copious four-color illustrations help clarify this journey into a surreal wonderland where particles, sheets, and strings move in eleven dimensions; where black holes evaporate and disappear, taking their secret with them; and where the original cosmic seed from which our own universe sprang was a tiny nut.

The Universe in a Nutshell is essential reading for all of us who want to understand the universe in which we live. Like its companion volume, A Brief History of Time, it conveys the excitement felt within the scientific community as the secrets of the cosmos reveal themselves.

From the Jacket

“Clear, concise and accessible. And he leavens it further with occasional wry humor.”—St Louis Post-Dispatch

“Provocative and informed ... plenty of comprehensible analogies and no small amount of humor, often self-deprecating.... Best of all, the book is liberally sprinkled with well-conceived, gorgeously rendered and frequently whimsical illustrations.”—Time

About the Author

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

Editorial Reviews

“Clear, concise and accessible. And he leavens it further with occasional wry humor.”—St Louis Post-Dispatch

“Provocative and informed ... plenty of comprehensible analogies and no small amount of humor, often self-deprecating.... Best of all, the book is liberally sprinkled with well-conceived, gorgeously rendered and frequently whimsical illustrations.”—Time
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