Liked It3 of 3 members found this review helpful
“The theory of universe in physics was tending to steady state theory until Hawking burst out with a bang, and it has been the big bang teory for quite a while now. Explained here in terms simple enough for non physicists, it is certainly a worth read unless you are a budding physicist - then, it...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I was hesitant about reading this book. Though a physics graduate, I hadn't read a physics book for quite a while. But I managed to go through and enjoyed reading it. This was more than 20 or more years ago. I want to go back and read it again sometime.”herts53 wrote this review yesterday. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“One of the hardest books I've ever attempted reading.”Codis MC wrote this review 5 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I have read and read and read some more,
confusion reigns but never to bore.
I understand through this confusion,
that life is life and part illusion.
This books is simply classical mess,
taught me that I still know less???
“I am reading this book with the help of my son. Yet to rate”Venmathi wrote this review 9 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Easy reading to get an update on more advanced physics than what we study in schools. This book is a nice way of getting an overview of the different theories that attempt to explain how our universe behaves, where it comes from and where it goes to”Samuel wrote this review Tuesday, November 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I appreciate Mr. Hawking's attempt to explain physics, quantum mechanics, and scientific theory to the layman such as myself. However, I felt that even with his lack of formulas, the multitudes of diagrams, and the occasional witty comment, I was still left behind confused and bored. His style of writing is similar to that of a textbook, and as much as I wanted to learn something, I felt that in the end, I learned nothing. I'm not counting it against Mr. Hawking though. I really feel that the error is on my side. I've never been good with science, and readers who are heavy into working science or even hard sci-fi will most likely get more enjoyment from this book than I did.”ToastKat wrote this review Thursday, October 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Hard!”Olga Zueva wrote this review Wednesday, October 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A friend of mine loves this book and has read it more than once. Reassuring, since like me, she doesn't hold a doctorate in the sciences! In fact, as someone who used to do a lot of science reading--I read many a astronomy book by Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan once upon a time--most of the concepts here were very familiar. Well, until we reached the very weird land of quantum mechanics and string theory and imaginary numbers, where I admit I was pretty lost.
Hawking gives the history of the science surrounding the ultimate questions of the universe starting from the arguments of Aristotle in 340 B.C. for a round earth to the very strange land of today's physics of quantum mechanics with its different colored quarks and antimatter on the micro level and the strange interstellar beasties of relativistic physics of dark matter, black holes, quasars, and neutron stars and the very weird string theory that might unite both. I do think his explanations are lucid and elegant. I can't remember a better description of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity by explaining its historic relationship to Newton and how the theory tried to answer questions about the relationship between space and time. And Hawking manages to explain some sophisticated concepts without loading the book with jargon or equations. Hawking was also great at explaining how the theory of Relativity fits--or rather doesn't fit--with Quantum Mechanics and the search for a theory that could unify them both. I'm not saying I understood everything in the book. The concepts are counter-intuitive and hard to digest, and there's only so far you can go in explaining difficult subjects in simple terms to people lacking the background. But I understood it better, and certainly got the implications Hawking spelled out.
About the only stylistic quirk I had an issue with was Hawking's refusal to use the B-word. (A Briticism?). I find it a lot easier to wrap my mind around ten billion than "ten thousand million." The edition I read was written in 1996, updated from the first edition from 1988 which was a enormous bestseller. In the Foreword to that revised edition, Hawking wrote he thought that "within a few years we should know whether we can believe that we live in a universe that is completely self-contained and without beginning or end." Hawking definitely leaves me wanting to read more to find out the verdict. Worth reading, although not always easy to grasp.”
“Hawking's classic work on cosmology and especially black holes is accessible at the beginning, but becomes rather complex before you reach the final pages. The author wrote A Brief History of Time to help nonscientists understand the questions being asked by scientists today: Where did the universe come from? How and why did it begin? Will it come to an end, and if so, how? Hawking uses a minimum of technical jargon. Among the topics covered are gravity, black holes, the Big Bang, the nature of time, and physicists' search for a grand unifying theory. In spite of the complexity the book is a worthwhile introduction to cosmology.”jim henderson wrote this review Saturday, September 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book is simply amazing. Although it gives a high-level overiew for the concepts of space and science, it is surprisingly simple. An editor seems to have warned Mr. Hawking that for every equation in the book the readership would be halved. Hence it includes only a single equation: E = mc2. Although there is no fiction involved, it is gripping like reading a sc-fi novel. I was almost lost in a time-space continnum ! No wonder it has been a best seller. Best of luck to Mr. Hawking for his theory of singularity !!!”Sunil Jadhav wrote this review Tuesday, August 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No