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The Illustrated Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Edition Hardcover – October 1, 1996
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Hawking has succeeded in writing two intertwined books, one a highly readable and popular account of the role of time in physics, the other an in-depth review—What makes all this so interesting is Hawking's ability to convoy the essential physics in words alone."—Physics Today
"In his first work of popular science, Stephen Hawking proves himself to be a master of vivid clarity—It's difficult to think of anyone else living who could have put these mathematically formidable subjects more clearly."—Chicago Tribune
"A masterful summary of what physicists now think the world is made of and how it got that way."—Wall Street journal
"This book marries a child's wonder to a genius's intellect. We journey into Hawking's universe while marvelling at his mind."—Sunday Times, London
"The famous theoretical physicist best known for his inquiries into the nature of black holes—turns out to be as skilled a popular writer as he is a mathematician—The result is probably the best single book on astrophysics for the common reader. Thank you, Dr. Hawking!"—Booklist
"Lively and provocative—Hawking clearly possesses a natural teacher's gift—easy, good-natured humor and an ability to illustrate highly complex propositions with analogies plucked from daily life."—New York Times
"Charming and lucid—gives the general reader an opportunity to learn some deep science directly from the source—[A book of] sunny brilliance."—New Yorker
Top Customer Reviews
This book covers ideas that are profound and affect everyone. It explains theories that concern the creation of the universe, time travel, light-speed travel, and many more topics. Imagine actually having some grasp of Einstein's general relativity. Ever heard of string theory? How might time travel actually be possible? What are these black holes of which I've heard? This book packs an incredible amount of information into its 248 pages, yet somehow is still easily read - this is the true marvel of this book.
The illustrated version is worth the extra money. It contains many updates and additions throughout the book by Hawking (including the time travel chapter!). Every (and I mean every) concept throughout the book is accompanied by at least one illustration - think about it: 240 color illustrations with only 248 pages!
Towards the middle of the book, some of the concepts get more complex (when he really gets into the details of sub-atomic particles). However, as a recent high school graduate, I can say with some level of certainty that the average person can understand 90% of this book - and those parts are the most interesting! It will change the way you look at the universe.
In summary, a fountain of information from galaxies and black holes to quantum mechanics presented in such a way that is not only as easy to understand as it can be, but is an enjoyable experience to read.
In this updated version, Hawking moves from time travel to black holes to general relativity, quantum mechanics and even string theory, he never fails to captivate and entrance, even though some of the theories are difficult to grasp.
The sections devoted to black holes and time travel are, in my view, the most interesting... putting a human slant of a highly theorical subject. With the addition of hundreds of amazing illustrations and photos, Hawking has made his revised book extremely readable and colorful, both comprehensive and comprehendable, as one reviewer put it.
An excellent introduction to relativity, big bang, and anything else you might have scratched your head about!
Hawking tries a little too hard to be witty at times (and punctuates all of his jokes with exclamation points! just in case you missed them!), but all-in-all, this was a quite readable account of what's presently known about cosmology. I use the term "presently" guardedly, as just recently there was some big finding about dark matter (it exists!), but from now on, when there are new findings in physics, I want Hawking to explain them to me, because I feel like then I might understand them. That's why you should read this book.
The reason you should not read this book is because you have no interest in wrestling with abstractions with which you will never interact in daily life, and would rather read about global warming or Darfur or something a bit more topical and practical. This was still a hard read, and I feel like I grasped maybe 80% of it. For you to decide, but for a former engineering student, this was something I wish I had read when I was taking physics.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book just blew my mind. I found it incredibly interesting even though I could barely grasp the concepts being described. Read morePublished 18 hours ago by curly
Interesting subject matter. Written in mostly understandable language, but you really have to concentrate while reading it. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Charles Yawn
Hawking tackles presenting the complexities of modern physics to the layman, and does it well. Like Isaac Asimov, he strives to simplify for his reader. This is not a textbook. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Bill D.
I read this book with my oldest son (13 almost 14 years old) and enjoyed it even more than when I first read it in the 90s. Stephen Hawking is a brilliant writer. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Kaui