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A Brief History of Time
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Showing 1-10 of 346 reviews(4 star). See all 1,854 reviews
on April 28, 2017
Wonderful explanations and illustrations Plain everyday English without mathematiics. Requires intense concentration and re-reading some sections to fully grasp the concepts. I've been able to master only 50% so far. Would probably be much easier for someone smarter.
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on April 30, 2017
Not for the average reader. Although the concepts are "simply" explained with very little math, they are way beyond the physics I took in college. Dr. Hawking is one of the most extraordinary scientists of our lifetime. His brilliant mindwill shine forever, which probably explains why little old me had to think so much while reading this book. Congratulations on an elegant and original work.
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on October 4, 2017
Great book. Give insight into man's ego-centric prejudices and how they affect our creativity and reasoning.
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on February 20, 2011
As an amateur astronomer of 40 years and a life member of the Mars Society I have read a few books on space/time.

Stephan Hawkins is one of the most brilliant physicists since Einstein and chairs the professorship that Issac Newton used to chair.
Hawkins is a master at putting together aspects of large scale gravitation theory and small scale quantum mechanics. Hawkins tells us Einstein spent most of his later life trying to find a universal law that would describe the total nature of the universe and failed. We are still trying to put together a complete universal total law.

The first 1/3 of the book I basically already knew from previous readings. Hawkins does a good description for the average layman. Most of the later 2/3 of the book gets deeper and more complex when Hawkins starts talking about imaginary time etc. I tried reading the later parts in the company cafeteria. No good. The average layman reader will have to concentrate to absorb all that Hawkins
describes and the various theories such as string theory. I gave up reading until I could read in a quite room. The later parts of the book were difficult to fully absorb and NOT an easy read. I had to put the book down in the later parts and come back to it. I started to get a headache concentrating to absorb as much as I could.

Very interesting chapters on worm holes, black holes, and time travel and the impossibility of a spaceship going faster than light speed. The end of the book is great with short bibliographies on the big 3 scientists Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, and Issac Newton. Learned a few new tidbits.

I have the utmost respect for Stephan Hawkins who continued with his research into space/time and black holes even though he has a massive MSD disability. A truely brilliant and courageous man.

I would of given A Brief history of Time 5 stars but Hawkins did not go into observing the universe with more than our 5 senses and expanded consciousness. What would someone be able to perceive if we had more than 5 senses? What more could we understand if our consciousness was expanded a thousand times and we could use our brains almost 100 percent? Improve man's mind and you increase knowledge learned a thousand fold? Would of liked evidence of experiments in mind altering drugs ( I'm not talking about LSD use) and experimentation to expand consciousness and intelligence to be able to observe the universe in different ways. Maybe the physics we know today would be perceived as different with an expanded mind? Maybe a way to have a stable wormhole that would allow space/time travel of a million light years in a few hours? I'm not one to say space/time travel arriving at distant star systems in what would appear much faster than light speed is impossible because INMO the human mind has not been developed to its ultimate potential.

A Brief History of Time is a good book worth reading but much discussion should also be on expanding man's mind to observe the universe
in ways not even imagined. Read it in a quite room, give yourself lots of time, and concentrate. You may have to go back a few times to absorb it all. INMO not light weight reading in the later chapters. 4 stars and recommended.
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on June 27, 2015
- A lot of interesting and intuitive analogies that explain a lot of difficult concepts.
- With some background/undergraduate concept of quantum mechanics this book is extremely useful to 'connect the dots' between different aspects.

Cons: the pros are overdone that they become cons:
- Lacks concrete calculations, relying too much on analogies to explain concepts.
- Even so, the demonstrations/illustrations/graphs are lacklustre.
- The readers will have to take for granted a LOT of important theories 'because he said so'.
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on April 3, 2015
An excellent overview of the cosmology of the universe. Although I am many years removed from the classroom, I found most of the concepts understandable. The only difficulty is the complication of particles with various spins. The discussion of the four forces was very insightful. I certainly subscribe to the anthropic principle as a Christian and found nothing to sway me away from that belief. I had always wanted to read this book but never got around to it. The movie "The Theory of Everything" made me want to finally make the plunge. It wass well worth it.
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on February 27, 2014
A good introduction for the layman of recent developments in physics and some of the issues these new directions may lead us. Over all an honest effort; but, far too many assumptions based upon speculation. To be fair though, while I enjoyed the ride, the book (unlike the author) suggests a unified theory is a long way from realization. I had to smile when toward the books end, the question was finally raised, ever so briefly, as to whether any unified theory would accomplish much or serve well. Finally, I must have completely missed the justification for trying to apply Q. M., a theory predicated upon small particles, when there is no way to speculate about what the big bang was before the bang.
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on August 1, 2017
Another good book by Stephen Hawking.
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on February 16, 2016
It brings matter that may be very complicated to a very common language and tells a story rather than teaching a lesson, I've always been amazed by space and its history and this book does an amazing job explaining its origins according to the theories that us, as mankind, have created. It isn't a light read by any means but it's very entertaining and if you have any interest in astrology and space it's a great book.
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on March 20, 2015
Very thought provoking, although the presumption that contraction means negative entropy and a reversal of the time arrow makes no sense to me. Contraction can be just as disorganized as expansion and would not follow the same path back to the singularity unless the universe is elastic and has the memory of a rubber band that returns to it's original form after being stretched. I suspect it would end up like a crumpled ball of plastic wrap and be less organized and just as entropic as when it was under expansion.
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