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The Universe in a Nutshell (2001)

by Stephen Hawking

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,778402,380 (3.84)83
Science. Physics. Nonfiction. HTML: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

‚?Ę Quantum mechanics
‚?Ę M-theory
‚?Ę General relativity
‚?Ę 11-dimensional supergravity
‚?Ę 10-dimensional membranes
‚?Ę Superstrings
‚?Ę P-branes
‚?Ę 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.‚?Ě

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
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» See also 83 mentions

English (32)  German (3)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Too technical for common reader. No match to a brief history of time ( )
  BeingKejo | Nov 10, 2021 |
This was brilliant and witty, though, a lot of it did go straight over my head. ( )
  SarahRita | Aug 11, 2021 |
2014 (I have some brief comments on the linked LibraryThing page)
https://www.librarything.com/topic/172769#4697524 ( )
  dchaikin | Sep 20, 2020 |
It was too technical and contained too much theoretical stuff. I read it for a bookclub but I think it's too much for a bookclub discussion. Recently I finished Neil deGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and that was much better. I do know physics quite a lot since it was my favourite subject in high school but this still was too theoretical. ( )
  iKaroliina | Aug 15, 2020 |
Decir que Stephen Hawking es uno de los mejores f√≠sicos del siglo XX no es dar una gran noticia. Su gran capacidad, unida a la enfermedad que le at√≥ a una silla cuando a√ļn era joven (Esclerosis lateral amiotr√≥fica, o la enfermedad de Lou Gehrig, llamada as√≠ por un jugador de b√©isbol), le han convertido en un icono.
Hawking se ha dedicado a intentar unir la Relatividad y la Mec√°nica cu√°ntica. Ha publicado much√≠simo y suyo es el m√©rito de la formulaci√≥n del primer efecto medible (aunque a√ļn no hayamos podido medirlo) que predice la gravedad cu√°ntica, la desconocida teor√≠a que une la gravitaci√≥n de Einstein y la mec√°nica cu√°ntica. Hablo, claro est√°, de la radiaci√≥n de Hawking. En este libro el autor e refiere a esta radiaci√≥n: “es una pena que esta radiaci√≥n sea demasiado d√©bil como para medirla desde la Tierra, porque en el momento en que se descubriera me dar√≠an el premio Nobel”. Genio y figura.
El libro comienza describiendo la Relatividad y la f√≠sica cu√°ntica. Paseamos por la vida de Einstein y sus principales descubrimientos. A partir de aqu√≠, desp√≠danse de la simplicidad. Los siguientes cap√≠tulos nos llevan a conocer la teor√≠a de supercuerdas, o, m√°s bien, las teor√≠as de supercuerdas. Hay cinco teor√≠as que en principio parecen independientes, pero se ha demostrado que las cinco son casos extremos (en los que se ha hecho una suposici√≥n simplificadora) de una √ļnica teor√≠a, llamada Teor√≠a M. El simple planteamiento de esta teor√≠a sin usar matem√°ticas es un reto, que tengo pendiente desde hace tiempo (lo s√©, lo s√©).

Esquema de los cinco sabores de la teoría M y la supergravedad (gravedad cuántica)

Hawking repasa las posibilidades cient√≠ficas del viaje en el tiempo, con jocosos comentarios sobre si estos viajes ya se han descubierto y los gobiernos mundiales nos lo ocultan. Hawking nos habla del tiempo imaginario, concepto realmente dif√≠cil de comprender, y de sus implicaciones. Tambi√©n se mete en mayores honduras y nos habla de los Universos hologr√°ficos, en los que en cada parte del Universo se contiene la informaci√≥n del resto. Por √ļltimo, entramos en el estudio de la Historia del Universo seg√ļn la teor√≠a de branas (o membranas, seg√ļn el traductor). Las branas son una generalizaci√≥n de las supercuerdas, de alt√≠sima dificultad te√≥rica, que producen algunos resultados sobre el posible origen del Universo.
Hay partes muy dif√≠ciles, lo cual implica que √©ste no es un libro de esparcimiento sino de lectura tranquila y reposada. Hawking no es uno de mis divulgadores favoritos, lo reconozco, pero a√ļn as√≠ el libro es muy interesante.
Una de mis partes favoritas, de los primeros capítulos. Cito no textualmente:
Hace unos a√Īos se hizo un experimento para verificar la Relatividad de Einstein. Seg√ļn √©sta, para un observador que se mueva m√°s r√°pido que otro, el tiempo pasar√° m√°s despacio. Se hizo volar a dos aviones en sentidos opuestos. Uno de ellos iba a favor de la rotaci√≥n terrestre, con lo que iba m√°s r√°pido que el otro, que iba en contra de la rotaci√≥n terrestre. Cada avi√≥n llevaba un preciso reloj at√≥mico que estaba sincronizado con el otro antes del despegue. Cuando ambos aviones aterrizaron, horas despu√©s, se pudo comprobar que, en efecto, el reloj que viaj√≥ a favor de la rotaci√≥n terrestre estaba lev√≠simamente retrasado con respecto al otro.
Esto quiere decir que si viaj√°semos muy r√°pidamente en avi√≥n durante toda nuestra vida conseguir√≠amos vivir m√°s. Sin embargo, el peque√Īo incremento en nuestro tiempo de vida causado por este movimiento se ver√≠a de sobras compensado por el hecho de tener que alimentarnos siempre con la comida que sirven en los aviones.

El libro est√° maravillosamente ilustrado. Hay muchas im√°genes 3D por ordenador en las que el texto se apoya y que son muy ilustrativas. Es, para mi gusto, uno de los principales puntos a favor del libro. Como ejemplo, cuando Hawking habla de que para medir los efectos cu√°nticos a muy peque√Īa escala necesitar√≠amos un acelerador de part√≠culas incre√≠blemente grande, la ilustraci√≥n que acompa√Īa es √©sta:

Un acelerador de part√≠culas del tama√Īo del Sistema Solar

Mi nota: Recomendable. ( )
  Remocpi | Apr 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
De auteur is de beroemde, aan een rolstoel gekluisterde fysicus, die veel moeite doet de moeilijke fysische theorieen die oorsprong en evolutie van het heelal proberen te verklaren, voor de leek begrijpelijk te maken. Eerst in "Het Heelal" (1988), nu in dit boek. Het is een bijzonder fraai boek met heel veel prachtige kleurenillustraties die trachten een voorstelling te geven van de moeilijke principes van de quantummechanica, de relativiteitstheorie, zwaartekracht, zwarte gaten, kromming van ruimte en tijd etc. Hawkings nieuwe inzichten van de afgelopen jaren zijn erin verwerkt. Zelf veronderstelt hij dat dit nieuwe boek wat eenvoudiger te begrijpen is, maar het komt toch het meest tot zijn recht als de lezer al wel wat vertrouwd is met deze materie. In dat geval is het een zeer lezenswaardig boek dat een goed beeld geeft van waar men in deze tak van wetenschap mee bezig is. Ook Hawkings ideeen over de toekomst van de menselijke intelligentie komen aan bod. Verklarende woordenlijst, register. Voor de beta-geinteresseerden met minstens een vwo-opleiding. Zie ook www.hawking.org.uk.

Dr. E. Zwijnenberg
added by karnoefel | editNBD / Biblion
 

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Hawking, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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CHAPTER 1: A BRIEF HISTORY OF RELATIVITY

Albert Einstein, the discoverer of the special and general theories of relativity, was born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879 , but the following year the family moved to Munich, where his father, Hermann, and uncle, Jakob, set up a small and not very successful electrical business.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This work is only The Universe in a Nutshell. Please do not combine it with the work that contains both The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time.
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Science. Physics. Nonfiction. HTML: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

‚?Ę Quantum mechanics
‚?Ę M-theory
‚?Ę General relativity
‚?Ę 11-dimensional supergravity
‚?Ę 10-dimensional membranes
‚?Ę Superstrings
‚?Ę P-branes
‚?Ę 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.‚?Ě

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

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