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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a little time to understand time..., May 29, 2006
This review is from: A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (Hardcover)
This book was written in 1987, and since then others have made developments in physics available to the layman. (See Brian Greene's Elegant Universe, and I believe Hawking has an updated version of Brief History out now.) But this book became available from a friend and I jumped at the opportunity to read it.

Hawking's writing style is very reader-friendly, and generally in layman's terms. There are no equations in this book, although he constantly refers to crunching numbers with relativistic and quantum mechanical equations. The reason why this book remains a good read is because it explains how our understanding of our universe developed from the time of Aristotle through Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein and the scientists of the 20th century. Hawking does a great job explaining how our notions changed as relativity and quantum mechanics were shown to be valid models of physical behavior.

It seems that Hawking's passion is for black holes, but his discussion of them seems very abstract to me. I was more captivated by one of the final chapters called the Arrow of Time. He poses the question of why the thermodynamic, psychological, and cosmological arrows of time run in the same direction. In other words, why does it take energy to create order, why don't we remember the future, and why is the universe expanding? Would it be plausible the other way around? There are lots of intriguing ideas in this brief survey - highly recommended.
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