224 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 0.99 in
September 1, 1998
Random House Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0553109537
ISBN - 13: 9780553109535
Read from the Book
Chapter 1OUR PICTURE OFTHE UNIVERSEA 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 Greek philosopher Aristotle, in his book On the Heavens, was a
From the Publisher
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Published more than two decades ago to great critical acclaim and commercial success, A Brief History of Time has become a landmark volume in science writing. Stephen Hawking, one of the great minds of our time, 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, who was born on the anniversary of Galileo’s death in 1942, held Isaac Newton’s chair as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for thirty years. Widely regarded as the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Einstein, he is also the author of Black Holes and Baby Universes, The Universe in a Nutshell, A Briefer History of Time, The Grand Design, and numerous scientific books and papers.
“[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