Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays: And Other Essays
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Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays: And Other Essays

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  5,849 ratings  ·  94 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

THIRTEEN EXTRAORDINARY ESSAYS SHED NEW LIGHT ON THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE—AND ON ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT THINKERS OF OUR TIME.

In his phenomenal bestseller A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking literally transformed the way we think about physics, the universe, reality itself. In these thirteen essays and one remarkable extended interview,...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published May 11th 2011 by Bantam (first published 1983)
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mark monday
this surprisingly relaxed and enjoyable collection of essays by Hawking didn't make me feel one bit stupid. not one bit! and i am a real dolt when it comes to much of science in general and physics in particular. thank you Hawking for not talking down to me and presenting your rich, dense pie of ideas in a way that was perfectly palatable.

there are a couple of pleasant, unpretentious essays on Hawking's personal life and history (noticeably absent in his prior bestseller) and his general thought...more
Misha
სტივენ ჰოკინგის ესეების და ლექციების (და ინტერვიუ) ნაკრები, სადაც ის მისთვის ჩვეული ადვილად გასაგები ენით მოგიყვებათ კოსმოლოგიის იმ მთავარ საკითხებზე რომლებზეც კარიერის განმავლობაში მუშაობდა და ფიქრობდა.
მეცნიერული თემების გარდა, შეხვდებით ავტობიოგრაფიულ ესეებს, სტივენის ოჯახურ ცხოვრებას, ადრეულ სიყმაწვილის პერიოდს, დაავადების განვითარების და ოჯახის შექმნას. ოქსფორდის და კემბრიჯის პერიოდს, გაიგებთ როგორ დაიწერა სტივენის ბესტსელერი "დროის მოკლე ისტორია" და ა.შ.
ლექციების უმეტესობა 80-იანების მეორე...more
Athena
My tryst with physics was earnest, tedious and sometimes unpleasant and continues to remain so. I make no claims to have a scientific bent of mind, though I am not a complete trogladyte. Hence when I was gifted this book...a book by one of the great minds of our time...I was rather skeptical. I have not read A Brief History of Time, primarily because I was afraid I would not understand. Reading this one however, gives me a little courage to perhaps pick up the bestseller.

Black Holes and Baby Uni...more
Bart Breen
Fascinating and Stimulating

Like others who have reviewed this work, I can endorse it as a stimulating and thoughtful book. It is in essence however not a coherent book with a single theme. It is a compilation of articles and as such there is much in the book that is repetitive. Hawking acknowledges this and disclaims it at the outset. Even with the forewarning I found that element to be a tad annoying.

I listened to the audio version of the book while commuting and I found it overall to be a fasc...more
Allison Przylepa
Hawking's charmingly down-to-earth perspective is evident throughout his personal essays in the form of witty, irreverent anecdotes that add a twist of humor into what would have otherwise read as a bland, colorless monotone.

Readers come to recognize Hawking not as the caricature of the brilliant, eccentric scientist he's been painted as in popular media, but as a man of modest and ordinary upbringing with a pragmatic world view and incredible resilience in the face of his incurable disease. Som...more
Bob Nichols
You read this collection of essays and get what you can from them. Hawking himself knows (see the last essay, actually interview, at the end of the book) that there is much the reader will not understand. Hawking says that a universe that collapses onto itself is a "singularity of infinite density," but it's not clear what about it is "infinite." He says that time/space has no boundary or edge. We understand that point as a circle and Hawking uses the earth as an example (one can travel around t...more
Biblioworm
Начинается книга с небольших по объему мемуаров автора.
В конце книги приводится любопытное интервью автора для радиостанции.
А вот середину книги мне совсем не понравилось читать. Это набор популярных статей, все идеи которые гораздо более сжато и понятно изложены в Кратчайшей истории времени.
Плюс есть какое-то количество общефилосовских рассуждений, которые при всем уважении к автору кажутся мало интересными и не слишком профессиональными.
Так что если вам интересна личность автора, то можно п...more
Justin Tapp
A long drive called for a good audio book. Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays by Stephen Hawking fit the bill. Hawking is the famous physicist who also has ALS.

Hawking published this book in 1993, five years after he published his bestseller A Brief History of Time.

I wanted to post this review as soon as I could while I could still remember and sort of understand the gist of what Hawking was saying. The first 1/4 of the book is autobiographical, him explaining his upbringing and lov...more
Seesen9
It has always fascinated me that theoretical physisist can actually examine and explore distant galaxies and solar systems and such without ever leaving our planet Earth so to speak. It seems they really can!

This collection of essays presents several interesting issues:
What is a black hole? Is it really so black?
Is it possible to travel through time and space?
Does the Universe have any boundaries?
Did it all began with the Big bang?
Why does it bother with existing at all?
Will we ever find the the...more
Nick Vandermolen
I feel like I liked this book. I stole it from my dad's shelf. As kid I remember wanting to read the book. Then I did, but I don't really remember what it was about. I only have memories about reading the book, not the actual content of the book. I read it a while ago. 2 years later, I'm trying to write a review about it and I remember nothing. Potentially it's because of the way I remember things, by attaching it to one of my own characteristics, or seeing myself as the character. In this case,...more
Jamie
Here's my one-word review of Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays by Stephen Hawking:

What?

That shouldn't be too surprising if you consider that a) I'm not a stupidly smart theoretical physisist, and b) Hawking doesn't really try to make the material in this collection of essays accessible to anyone else. Actually, there's some stuff near the beginning that's autobiographical, which I found interesting (fun fact: despite being stricken with the crippling Lou Gehrig's Disease, Hawking g...more
Adarsh
A few days back, I got into an online debate with a random girl in a Facebook community. She had mentioned that this is the age of Science, and while Science is taking human life forward at an unimaginable pace, speculative Philosophers are just a hindrance to human progress. I replied with the speculation that a lot of what Science says could turn out to be wrong. This started a fierce discussion that went on for quite long, and I was barely able to defend the powerful arguments she kept throwi...more
Khaleel
I don't really know How The Mind Works, I haven't read Pinker's masterpiece yet. I can imagine it, however, as a complex combination of neurons and cells firing in various areas of the brain to help you visualize an image of the thing you're thinking about .

To speak for myself, I think in pictures. when I think about something or remember a person, I visualize a picture of him or her or something strongly associated with them. For example, when I see the word " Plato", I visualize Plato as repre...more
Kristopher Swinson
I picked this up as a diversion and hopeful cure for a case of insomnia, in which it was only moderately successful. Hawking seems modest enough, and certainly has a vibrant sense of humor. Indeed, his writing style is rather accessible--which made me all the more frustrated when, due to the repetitive nature from collecting these essays, I realized I still only understand quantum physics to a certain extent, even on the third reading. While he downplays the necessity of mathematical erudition (...more
Jeanine
I love that this collection of essays ranges from personal to scientific. The interview was the perfect way to end the book. Hawking's personality comes through in these essays, even the ones you think might be a bit more dense. In fact, a couple of the essays that explain the physics more are downright beautiful.

"As a black hole gives off particles and radiation, it will lose mass. This will cause the black hole to get smaller and to send out particles more rapidly. Eventually, it will get dow...more
Vrinda Pendred
Interesting, certainly, but strangely, I found that while Hawking is a deeply emotional person with a wicked sense of humour...his science left me cold. I got the impression he separates his emotions from his work, which I find puzzling. I think, though, that the worst thing about this book is the interview transcript from his appearance on Desert Island Discs - not because of him, but because of the interviewer. She really knew how to rub salt into his wounds! I was honestly expecting her to as...more
G. Branden
The preface warns, appropriately, of some duplication of material. However, this is forgivable.

I found this to be a worthy companion to (what I remember of) A Brief History of Time.

The first half of the essays are "soft" and autobiographical, and the second half "hard" and all about theoretical physics.

I found the second half more enjoyable. Hawking's celebrity status is now sufficiently great that everyone either already knows his life story, or can easily find it out.

Starting with chapter six,...more
Horia Bura
As it is a collection of essays based on speeches given at various conferences, interviews etc., the repetition of some themes and concepts is inevitable. However, Hawking uses the same accessible and, at times, humorous style as in his other works, but, on the other hand, he introduces some very interesting autobiographical segments that allow us to somewhat dive into his private life and understand how he relates to his family, readers and, not the least, his own illness.
Christianne
I'm not a physics person, I am fond of Biology. (In Hawking's word:"I was not attracted to medicine or biology because they seemed too inexact and descriptive".) So I'm fond of an inexact science :)
But Physics seems to me the only way that Math makes sense.
This book is a sum of many essays from him between 1976 and 1992. I want to see what Hawking was thinking about.
The personal stories give a good touch.
When we get to the parts of quantum theories, lot of references of people and laws that I ha...more
Lelly
one of my favourite books.

Tentang blackholes, apakah lubang hitam itu. Lubang hitam adalah planet mati yang mampat dengan kerapatan serta gravitasi tinggi. Semua yang masuk ke dalam medan gravitasinya bisa tersedot kedasarnya, bahkan dia tidak memancarkan cahaya yang terserap, sehingga yang tampak adalah warna hitam. Sebab itu disebut blackhole.

Gemintang di langit malam yang indah terlihat, bisa jadi pada saat kita pandang saat ini, adalah cahaya yang dipancarkan sekian juta tahun lalu, menging...more
Ron Krumpos
"Black Holes and Baby Universes" is one of the books in the secondary bibliography of my free ebook on comparative mysticism. "The greatest achievement in life" at suprarational.org/gail2012.pdf has been reviewed on Goodreads.
Brian Burt
Don't let the title fool you, there are actually 14 essays in this small volume. The range of topics in these essays is eclectic, spanning from Hawking's recollection of his childhood to a transcript of his appearance on BBC's Desert Island Discs (interested in which 8 records a modern genius would select?)

Unlike A Brief History of Time which was written for general audiences, these essays were delivered over a number of years and composed for appropriate audiences so familiarity of Einstein's t...more
Jacob
Empieza sencillo como cualquier libro, unas cuentas páginas más sube el nivel y se vuelve interesante para después intrigarte con lo poco que conoces del universo, debo admitir que el libro manejaba conceptos difíciles que me hicieron difícil la lectura.
David
After reading through his first book, I've had Hawking's book of essays on my coffee table for a few years now. Only recently, I found time to work my way through it. I found his essays pretty enlightening and the Hawking subtle humor is in full effect in some of his work. Surely, he seems a little sure of himself in his ideas, but I can't begrudge someone who is the de facto expert in his field. Although the majority of the essays deal with finding a grand unified theory of physics, the final e...more
White
Not bad if you want a "pick me up" from the superficiality of real life. When your perspective falls into just getting through the day, this is a great distraction into what is real and what matters in the long run...not much!

Honestly, I expected to pick this book up and be taken like Hawking's A Brief History of Time. It was just a scrapbook of essays (I should read the cover before I buy!) which disordered it a bit and took away the connection that followed the first book of his I read.

Still,...more
Mehar Banu
Amazing...... Stephen Hawking, the great mind brings extremely unimaginable concept on universe, not one universe but numerous universes... He lets our mind to conceive what an universe actually be... We can't imagine 4th dimension, however we try .... but when we go along with brain stunning Stephen.. we can grasp whole universe in our mind. What a fantastic play of Allah in giving grace of knowledge to this great man, Stephen Hawking...even he is severely paralyzed and spending whole of his li...more
Artur Muschett
This book was about theoretical physics in general, and it elaborated on the way the universe is shaped, and functions. It gave me an insight to the spin particles,(particles that are marked by there spinning frequency with a little fraction) and it showed me where theoretical physics is heading in general. I learned a bit about entanglement, and how it could be used for the help of man kind. I liked this book because it was written well, and Stephen Hawkings mastery of the english language is c...more
Emily
An amazing book, introducing new theories to me as well as solidifying my knowledge on others. Really perked my interest in theoretical physics. A great read for anyone craving any deep thinking or hours puzzling over possible theories. Has truly changed how I think about things.
Keith Parrish
A series of essays by Stephen Hawking, mostly taken from various lectures and interviews he has done over the years. The biographical sections were fascinating - I must admit that I did not know much about his life - and illuminating. The scientific essays were eye-crossing in their complexity through no fault of Hawking's. This material is eye-crossing, not to mention mind-blowing. One of those books that I'm glad I read but I probably won't go back to again.
Michelle
I've liked another Hawking book better (I think I've read The Theory of Everything), but everyone who reads my reviews knows that I'm not a big fan of collections of essays from one author because I get sick of the repetition. I did like the inclusion of the Desert Island Discs interview. And I need to brush up on my physics. Can you believe I used to be able to participate in conversations about it? Now I just wonder about white holes . . .

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1401
Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England. His parents' house was in north London, but during the second world war Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. When he was eight, his family moved to St Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At eleven Stephen went to St Albans School, and then on to University College, Oxford, his father's old college. Ste...more
More about Stephen Hawking...
A Brief History of Time The Grand Design The Universe in a Nutshell A Briefer History of Time The Illustrated A Brief History of Time and the Universe in a Nutshell

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“Time and space are finite in extent, but they don't have any boundary or edge. They would be like the surface of the earth, but with two more dimensions.” 42 likes
“We got through all of Genesis and part of Exodus before I left. One of the main things I was taught from this was not to begin a sentence with And. I pointed out that most sentences in the Bible began with And, but I was told that English had changed since the time of King James. In that case, I argued, why make us read the Bible? But it was in vain. Robert Graves was very keen on the symbolism and mysticism in the Bible at that time.” 19 likes
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