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A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang…

A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (1988)

by Stephen Hawking

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,680152197 (3.91)245
  1. 20
    Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays by Stephen W. Hawking (gandalf_grey)
  2. 42
    Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher by Richard P. Feynman (OccamsHammer)
  3. 10
    The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Although it's longer, Brian Greene's book is much more easily digestible. Plus, he gives you an idea of what they're hoping to discover at the Large Hadron Collider.
  4. 00
    Knowledge and Wonder by Victor F. Weisskopf (erik_galicki)
    erik_galicki: I think Weisskopf strikes a better balance between big picture and detail. Hawking provides more detail on particle physics and cosmology, but I think Weisskopf makes the connections between the two more apparent and clearer.
  5. 00
    From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time by Sean Carroll (steve.clason)
  6. 00
    Chaos and Harmony: Perspectives on Scientific Revolutions of the 20th Century by Xuan Thuan Trinh (Louve_de_mer)
  7. 17
    The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by Dalai Lama XIV (leahsimone)

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» See also 245 mentions

English (135)  Italian (3)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  Greek (1)  French (1)  All languages (150)
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
I'm rather pleased with myself for having finished this book yet a second time. I'm even more delighted that this go-round I have understood almost 15% of the book, which is more than twice what I was able to wrap my mind around when I first read it two decades ago. I'm not particularly qualified to review or rate it, but I was satisfied with my reading. It was meant to be an exercise of the mind, seeing what I could mentally bench press. It has been rather successful to that extent, so I will give it a relatively arbitrary 4-stars. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Oct 28, 2018 |
(Original Review, 1987)

Will having read Hawking's book help me understand the way a horse-fly "grasps" the arrow of time?
For starters, I'm great at killing horse-flies by hand. Should I get some black pyjamas and a balaclava and become a ninja? And there was me thinking that the horse-fly's all round vision and short nerve pathway had something to do with their reaction speed. Being a horse-fly-killing-ninja, what do I need Hawking’s book for? Move aside Hawking!

The best investment I made was a high voltage zapper in the shape of a tennis racquet, hours of Jedi entertainment and aerobic exercise from a pound shop. Has anyone tried downing a horse-fly with a laser to see if they are indeed faster than light? Many hours of fun at my Granny's house...

I suppose there are flies and flies. House-flies are damned elusive but horse-flies, which are only a little bigger, are dozy buggers, although persistent and aware of the advantages of mass attack. Tsetse-flies are of similar disposition.

I could postulate time is the same for us and the horse-fly: a solid turd moving at 1 m/s will have the same speed for both. But if a horse-fly can perceive at a faster rate, and if its reactions are faster than ours, it is living in stretched time (i.e. it can perceive more, and do more in one second than we can). Then, even though perception of time is subjective, and time remains the same for two objects moving at similar speeds, the horse-fly will have more time to live (a longer life) in one second than we do. Of course, they have a shorter life span, so we catch up to them over time :) I have swatted many a horse-fly head-on with a regular fly-swatter using some corollaries resulting directly from my own theorem “How to Kill Juicy Horse-Flies without a Horse-Fly-Swatter”.

A final thought before the “bottom-line”: What’s the last thing to go through a flies head when it hits a car windscreen.......Its arse. Ta daahhh!!

Bottom-line: Time is a measure of perception. Time is the expression of our reality. Our perception changes the reality. What perception of time would a horse-fly have? Our perception is based on the size and shape of our planet and its closer neighbours. Minutes and seconds, days and weeks, years and ages, and many others. Would a juicy horse-fly see day and night and count them? Could a horse-fly perceive time at all, or is it in the now only, with nothing to measure time with? Or is a horse-fly here and not here, in a quantum kind of way? Maybe an horse-fly is just me in another Multiverse…My brain is now moving so fast I appear stunned as I sit with my fly-swatter contemplating black flies, mosquitos, and .........oh my 'noseeums'. Biting midges are definitely in a quantum reality here in Lisbon, not to mention solid flying turds... And no. You don't need this book to be able to kill horse-flies with a fly-swatter or barehanded. It's all in the wrist you see... ( )
  antao | Oct 19, 2018 |
Du Big Bang aux trous noirs
  guyotvillois | Oct 15, 2018 |
Though there are parts I'm sure I did not completely understand, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. What surprised me was how much this very scientific book is also a book on philosophy and the nature of God. Those thoughts were some of his most engaging. ( )
  Mattmcmanus | Aug 23, 2018 |
Glad I finally picked this up off the "to-read" shelf. There are a bunch more amusing asides than I expected, which were a nice surprise. I'm not sure Hawking gets the pitch right throughout the book (sometimes the level of technical detail is very low, sometimes it's very high) but overall it's a very interesting book. ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Aug 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
Through his cerebral journeys, Mr. Hawking is bravely taking some of the first, though tentative, steps toward quantizing the early universe, and he offers us a provocative glimpse of the work in progress.

» Add other authors (75 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hawking, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonkers, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kober, HainerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kreitmeyer, JensCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, RonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sagan, CarlIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmidt, BerndConsultant (German Translation)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Souriau, IsabelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Varteva, RistoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Che cosa sappiamo sull'universo, e come lo sappiamo? Da dove è venuto, e dove sta andando? L'universo ebbe un inizio e, in tal caso cosa c'era prima? Il tempo avrà mai una fine?" Con questi quesiti Stephen Hawking ci introduce in una straordinaria avventura: un'emozionante cavalcata nel tempo. L'espansione dell'universo, il principio di indeterminazione, le particelle elementari e le forze della natura, l'origine e la sorte dell'universo, l'unificazione della fisica sono le grandi tappe di questo viaggio indimenticabile. Ma oltre a riassumere le conoscenze tradizionali Hawking illustra le ultime teorie sulla fisica dei buchi neri, il principio antropico, la teoria dell'universo inflazionario, l'universo contenuto in una bolla.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553380168, Paperback)

Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history, wrote the modern classic 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 attempts to reveal these questions (and where we're looking for answers) using a minimum of technical jargon. Among the topics gracefully covered are gravity, black holes, the Big Bang, the nature of time, and physicists' search for a grand unifying theory. This is deep science; these concepts are so vast (or so tiny) as to cause vertigo while reading, and one can't help but marvel at Hawking's ability to synthesize this difficult subject for people not used to thinking about things like alternate dimensions. The journey is certainly worth taking, for, as Hawking says, the reward of understanding the universe may be a glimpse of "the mind of God." --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:48 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

"In the ten years since its publication in 1988, Stephen Hawking's classic work has become a landmark volume in scientific writing, with more than nine million copies in forty languages sold worldwide. That edition was on the cutting edge of what was then known about the origins and nature of the universe. But the intervening years have seen extraordinary advances in the technology of observing both the micro- and the macrocosmic worlds. These observations have confirmed many of Professor Hawking's theoretical predictions in the first edition of his book, including the recent discoveries of the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite (COBE), which probed back in time to within 300,000 years of the universe's beginning and revealed wrinkles in the fabric of space-time that he had projected." "Eager to bring to his original text the new knowledge revealed by these observations, as well as his own recent research, Professor Hawking has prepared a new introduction to the book, written an entirely new chapter on wormholes and time travel, and updated the chapters throughout."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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