Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe
Scholarly review (fact-checked)
I'm conflicted about this book. There's plenty to love. As far as I can tell, Singh gets all the science right, and the fact that it's stuffed with entertaining stories about the historical characters involved makes it a fun read. I finished it in a couple of days. B...more
In telling the story of the Big Bang theory, the book takes you through miniature biographies and descriptions of the impact of the life-work of Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Hubble and many others who strove and discovered gems of cosmological truth through history. Th...more
Some stuff is obsessively repeated, so there are moments when this book gets a little bit boring and...more
I was a little bit disappointed that the book stopped when the Big Bang was recognised by the scientific community, so recent developments were not explained.
You can actually get a decent way through this book without much mention of the Big Bang theory or even the universe as a whole as the early parts are given over to a history of human endeavour towards understanding Earth within the universe. From various creation myths to the methodolgy employed to work out that the world was round, the circumference of the planet, the distance to the moon and sun, how orbits...more
Singh not only knows his science inside out, he's also a fantastic storyteller, and manage...more
It may seem like a silly thing to say, but I like to know where I am.
Living in Solon, Ohio, I know that Lake Erie is a few miles to the north (go to the end of our street and turn left). Downtown Cleveland is about 20 miles to the northwest, Chagrin Falls just east, Chicago about a 6 hour drive west, DC about 6 hours through Pennsylvania to the east.
When I travel, I always look at a map, even if I’m n...more
What I think is so commendable about Simon Singh is that he starts wayyyyy at the beginning of the story i...more
Singh's background is in particle physics, which I think comes through particularly well in this book. He has an obvious deep respect for the intellects and achievements of the scientists he profiles, probably stemming in no small part from his sophisticated understanding of the problems they had to solve. Even more spectacularly, he is able to make the scientific method...more
The Big Bang begins with the conflict of early scientists with the governmental/religious forces ar...more
This book is a history of the Big Bang model, providing at the same time an insight into what science is and how the scientific method works. It traces the history of how an idea is created, tested, verified and finally broadly accepted. The book can be summarised as follows:
"Initially, all matter and energy w...more
One is the history of western astronomical discovery beginning with the Greeks and ending with late-20th century debates about the Big Bang. The second is an illustration of Kuhn's paradigm shifts in action, complete with the assertion that new ideas don't gain traction until the conservative old fogeys die off or retire. It struck me as bizarre that so many brilliant scientists in the 20th century would keep hold of the idea of an "eternal,...more
Singh, a British physicist and author of Fermat's Enigma and The Code Book, knows how to popularize science. Big Bang, written with a nod to Carl Sagan, tells the story of the origin of the universe. It's not a new story, but one well told through philosophers and scientists who, over 2,000 years, discarded, accepted, or built on each other's theories. In essence, Big Bang reveals how science works. Critics agree that Singh's conversational style elucidates complex concepts without dumbing them...more
Simon Singh has the rare advantage of being both a scientist and a journalist. What impressed me most about this book is the simplicity of Singh's approach to explaining complicated concepts and theories. The book has a distinct historical perspective and story-telling narrative to it. You will not find obscu...more
Overall, this book is a story of the scientific process and an idea that's been centuries in the making, and is not even complete yet. While conservative yahoos may...more
His written works include Fermat's Last Theorem (in the United States titled Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem), The Code Book (about cryptogra...more