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The Universe in a Nutshell

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

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... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Not being critical, just the truth

Mr Hawking experiences what most of us do not since most of us experience what he does not. For this, and his personal reasons, he has devoted his life to the wonderment of existence and how it works. This is a lesson for all of us, at how much we could advance and achieve if we put a little more effort into the serious life rather than indulging in the joyable. Mr Hawkings has had to find enjoyment in this search for reality, and indeed in fact has found enjoyment. Searching is what this book is, I especially enjoyed the parts on time travel, maybe Mr Hawking would be in hope that the people of the future could discover how to travel back in time and save him and us. Views of god suddenly shift to us being god, if we were smart enough to get that far without destroying it all first. Karl Mark Maddox has a book that expands on that greatly, it is called SB 1 or God.

Physics for Poets

I majored in English in college, and barely passed my Physics 105 class, so I think the fact that I found this book more than an easy read says a lot. Gliding through this book was like being the first person on the ice after the zamboni had resurfaced it.I have known about the idea of time as the fourth dimension, but until I read this book, I never understood it. I now also understand the difference between Newtonian and Einsteinian physics and relativity. The book is an education.But it is so much more; it's not a textbook, it's a journey. Somehow Hawking has managed to write a scientific odyssey of the type that was previously the domain of writers of Natural, rather than Mathematical sciences.The book contains copious color illustrations, but it scarcely needs to, because Hawking's language paints a canvas in the reader's mind. The reader is swept up in Hawking's enthusiasm, and like Alice following the White Rabbit down the hole, follows Hawking into a wonderland of curves and contours where time and space are inextricably tangled up, and time has shape. Particles, sheets, and strings travel through eleven dimensions; black holes appear and disappear, and superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle of this place where there is no up or down. No science fiction novel could ever compete with this adventure.

Beautifully Simple Brilliance!

The Universe in a Nutshell is the best popular science book I have ever read. Professor Stephen Hawking deserves many more than five stars for this book!If you have any interest in understanding the latest attempts to create a unified scientific Theory of Everything in the universe, this is the book for you. Professor Hawking has combined many perspectives to show how Einstein's special and general theories of relativity have been updated to explain the big bang, black holes, and an expanding universe; superstring theory; p-branes; how many dimensions the universe has; whether the future can be predicted in a deterministic way; whether time travel is possible; how science will transform our biological and thinking futures in the context of Star Trek technology; and M-theory to consider whether "we live on a brane or are we just holograms?" Although any of these subjects can be found in popular science books, few such books discuss all of them simply and intelligently in terms of each other from the theoretical perspective and experimental evidence.Those who wonder what science has to say about religious ideas will find this book valuable, for Professor Hawking is unafraid to address questions about whether there can be a beginning to the universe in a scientific sense. What could or could not have preceded the big bang?Fans of A Brief History of Time (1988) will find that Professor Hawking has made two changes to make this book more accessible to the nonphysicist. First, he as written the book so that you can follow the argument solely through the many beautiful and helpful illustrations and their captions. The method parallels the one he used successfully in the 1996 book, The Illustrated Brief History of Time. Second, only the first two chapters are required reading to understand the rest of the book. You can read chapters 3-7 in any order after the first two, which means that you can get into the material that will be of most interest to you much sooner!Professor Hawking's sense of humor also lightens the subject a lot. The book has witticisms, puns, and visual jokes galore to make you chuckle, from funny Shakespearean quotes ("I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space." Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2), to images from his appearance in the Star Trek: Next Generation television show (where he won at poker with Einstein . . . and had a mysterious visitor sit on his lap), to tales of bets lost and won, to unexpected comments about the effect of airline food on your life expectancy. To make the material less dense, he also includes biographical information about the quirks of the physicists who have made these marvelous discoveries. If you are fairly knowledgeable about physics, you will find this a fairly quick read . . . but one that will stimulate new flights of thought that can keep you busy for years. For example, he describes the physical limits of population growth and electricity being reached on earth b
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