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A Brief History of Time

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  119,810 ratings  ·  3,031 reviews
"A Brief History of Time," published in 1988, was a landmark volume in science writing and in world-wide acclaim and popularity, with more than 9 million copies in print globally. The original edition was on the cutting edge of what was then known about the origins and nature of the universe. But the ensuing years have seen extraordinary advances in the technology of obser ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1987)
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This book puts me in mind of the story about how a Harvard number theorist, through some malfunction of the scheduling computer, got assigned to teach an introductory course in pre-calculus. Being one of those individuals to whom math came so easily that they couldn't grasp how difficult others found it, the professor had no idea what to cover in such a course.

So, he went to the chair of the department, who told him: "You'll want to start with the real number-line and then progress to inequalit
Huda Yahya


هناك لذّةٌ ما ،، في أن تفتحَ كتاباً تشعُّ من سطوره ألوان الفضاء
شيءٌ ما في فعلِ المعرفةِ ،، والتأمل فيها
شيءٌ يأخذ عقلك إلى أمكنةٍ أخرى
لا بين المجرات
ولا في خضّم الكونِ الواسع
بل هنا بداخلك
عند هذا النبض الأخّاذ في قلبك
حيث تبدأ المتعة في التحرر
لتغمر مسامّك برائحة الدهشة
فالكون في داخلك أنت يا صاحبي

تاريخٌ موجز للزمن ،، يُعتبر من أهم الكتب العلمية الحديثة
يأخذك ستيفن هوكنج في رحلةٍ عبر تاريخ العلم
ويشرح لك كيف تغيّرت نظرتنا للكون ،، ولمجرتنا ،، ‏ولكرتنا الأرضية ،، ولأنفسنا كذلك عبر العصور

هذه هي
It is not clear to me who is in the target audience for this book. At times it tries to explain basic concepts of modern physics in simple language, and at other times it assumes a familiarity with the same subject. For the first time I think I "understand" why absolute time is not consistent with relativity theory or that space-time curvature supplants the notion of gravity, and for that I thank the author. There are a few other things I believe I have a glimpse of having (finally) slogged thro ...more
If I had a slightly more evolved brain or were as brilliantly smart as, say, Stephen Hawking, I might give this book 4 or 5 stars. I'm pretty certain it deserves 4 or 5 stars. But my brain is only (I like to think) a bit above average. And so, yes, I admit it -- much of this (especially when delving into his own theories) was over my head. And while I found what I did understand absolutely fascinating, I can't really give it more than 3 stars because doing so would imply I really "got it."

I actu
Hawking is a brilliant physicist and a true expert in explaining highly complex aspects of our physical universe in terms that can be understood by most lay people.

Where Hawking fails, in my opinion, is his hubris. He proceeds in to the realm of metaphysics and religion in several portions of this book. For instance, in his chapter on the "arrow of time", he states that, essentially, the universe can only move in one direction of time. It cannot go backwards. He also states that this limits the
The main idea to take away from this book is that time has a clear direction. Entropy is the idea that the universe moves from highly ordered states to less ordered states. If you take the lid off a bottle of perfume, and leave it off for a few days the perfume will go from being highly ordered (all in the bottle) to highly disordered (all over the room).

Hawking uses this idea to explain why travelling back in time is impossible. It requires very little energy to knock a glass over and smash it
Apparently this book tops the world list of "bought but not read", which may explain why it's so universally acclaimed as a work of genius. If you know anything much about relativity or cosmology, it comes across as a potboiler, admittedly a well-written one with a great final sentence. I wasn't impressed.

But... without it, we would never have had MC Hawking. If you haven't come across him, start with the lyrics to "E = MC Hawking". Then buy A Brief History of Rhyme.
I know. I know. I both loved and hated this book. I definitely should never have read this book, cut the pages, opened the box, etc.. Somehow Stephen Hawking has written a book that gently fluffs the tail on Schrödinger's cat (or perhaps Schrödinger's cat is fluffing Dr. Hawking).


Look, no doubt the guy is a genius and has a fantastic story (ALS, computer voice, nurses, Black Holes, strippers, movies, etc). My problem is the wussification of a large scientific narrative by one of Big “P” Physics
David Sarkies
Dec 27, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like physics but are not physicists
Recommended to David by: John Lennox
Shelves: science
Things I learnt from Stephen Hawking
11 October 2014

Ever since I took up physics in year 11 I have had a love affair with the subject, which is odd since I went on to study an arts/law degree (but that probably had something to do with the fact that I would not have had the staying power to pour all of my energy into helping human knowledge advance towards establishing a unified theory). I still wonder where I ended up getting this book, and it had been sitting on my shelf for quite a while (pro
This is a review of a non-technical reader.

A very readable and entertaining introduction to recent developments in physics and cosmology, Hawking attempts to deal with questions that bothered the cosmic physics community 20 years ago:

Is the universe finite or infinite in extent and content? Is it eternal or does it have a beginning? Was it created? If not, where did it come from? ? What governs the laws and constants of physics? Why is the universe the way it is? etc.

Glossing over the key aspect
Molly Des Jardin
It was while reading this that I finally had an "aha" moment about why it is that observation can change what you're trying to observe. I was always kind of skeptical of this, because I was wondering "what is it that our eyes do that could possibly affect things?" Stephen Hawking set me straight: it's the tiny speck of light that you have to shoot at what you're trying to observe that affects it. Light bulb is on!

I have an interest in physics, and I have read quite a few books for the layman abo
I'm a teenager and always liked science. But, it has never really been easy to distinguish my favorite subject, as I really like them all, so science is on par with history and math and literature for me.

But, after reading this book and the works of Brian Greene, as well as numerous other popular books on physics, I have seen science in an entirely different light.

If people could still produce intelligent books such as this one, then our world might actually be a fairly pleasant one. I'm not sa
Dodoo Ahmed
بما ان اختصاص الكتاب ليس من اهتماماتي فق قرأته قراءة سريعة و لم أحاول التعمق في النظريات و المعادلات الفيزيائية و تجاوزن عت اي شيء مما لم أفهمه .. دفعني لقراءته الفصول فخرجت منه بمعلومات أجدها قيمة و اضافت لي بما اني ما كنت لأعرفها لولا قراءتي الكتاب أوجزها فيما يلي:

1- نيوتن قد وضع نظرية للجاذبية الكونية
كل جسم في الكون ينجذب الى جسم اخر بقوة تزيد شدتها كلما زادت كتلة الاجسام و كلما زادت قربا أحدها من الآخر

2- رأى نيوتن ان حسب قانونة القمر يدور حول الارض لانه اكثر قربا و الارض اكبر حجما
و الاررض و
ویرایش 29 بهمن نود و سه
با دیدن فیلم «نظریه‌ی همه‌چیز» ابهاماتم در مورد نحوه‌ی پدر شدن استیون هاوکینگ برطرف شد. توضیح این‌که بیماری و از کارافتادگیش همه‌جاش رو از کار ننداخته
یکی از مسایل عمده‌ی زندگیم حل شد

فکر کنم از نوع طبقه‌بندی کردن کتاب مشخص باشه که هیچی ازش نفهمیدم. هرچند که این‌جور که مشخصه پرفروش‌ترین کتابی هست که کسی چیزی ازش نفهمیده. ولی جدای از این‌ها برام جای سواله که استیون هاوکینگ چجوری صاحب سه تا بچه هم شده. این خودش بیگ بنگ دوم هست به نظرم
Tariq Alferis

كتب ستيفن هوكنج هذا الكتاب، من اجل الاستهلاك المحلي او لطبقة العامة من الناس فقد ذكر فى كتابه ان أحد اصدقائه قال له :

أن كل معادلة ستكتبها فى كتاب , ستخسر بها نصف قرائك . ولذلك قد حاول الالتزام بعدم التعقيد العلمى , ومحاولة الوصول الى البساطة والعمق .

لايوجد اكبر واعقد من كوننا ..!

يبدآ الكاتب بمجموعة من الاسئلة ، من اين اتينا ،،؟

كيف نشآ الكون ..؟

وهل نحن وحيدون في الكون ..؟

هل توجد مخلوقات غريبة تعيش في عالمنا ..؟

مامستقبل الجنس البشري ..؟

حتي عشرينات القرن الماضي ، كان يعتقد ان الكون ساكن لايتحرك ح
Disclaimer: I love math and physics and books that make me feel stupid, as in they are that intelligent. It was interesting learning about the development of science as it refers to the way we think about the universe and how scientific discoveries have been influenced and influence the way people think about God. My favorite section was the discussion of black holes and antimatter.

At times Hawking lost me. He wants to explain theory to the masses, but as he draws near to his own theory, he got
خیلی وقت بود دنبال یه کتاب بودم که نظریات فیزیک جدید رو توضیح بده. زیاد از اصل عدم قطعیت و کوانتوم و نسبیت و نظریه ی ریسمان ها و سیاهچاله و کرمچاله و انفجار بزرگ و غیره و غیره شنیدیم، ولی شاید از هیچ کدوم تصور درستی نداشته باشیم. این کتاب خیلی از این نظریات رو مفصل توضیح میده.

نکات منفی
مشکل اصلی کتاب، اینه گاهی زبانش خیلی فیزیکی میشه. به نظر میرسه آدم باید اطلاعات زیادی از فیزیک داشته باشه تا حرف کتاب رو بفهمه. من دانش فیزیکم در حد سوم دبیرستان و چیزهایی که جسته گریخته از این ور و اون ور خونده بو
Stephen Hawking's book is easy to read, but harder to comprehend. In every chapter came a point where my brain couldn't hold another permutation of a theory, and as the book progressed, I ended up taking the same approach as I do when reading a Norse saga for the first time. With sagas, I just read, even if my brain doesn't seem to retain all the information about who is related to who and what they named their horse. Inevitably, at the end, I have a reasonable basic grasp of the saga, and then ...more
كتاب رائع لمن يرغب باكتساب حصيلة علمية مركزة عن الكون وعلوم الفضاء.. الشرح متسلسل ويحاول المؤلف أن يأتيك بالمعلومة من أساسها وبدايتها وقد بذل جهداً في ذلك كما ورد في المقدمة حيث أنه يوجهه لغير المتخصصين..
ورغم أني استفدت الكثير ورغم أن كل نظرية مستخدمة أو كل مصطلح يورده يقوم بشرحه وحتى بآخر الكتاب تم اضافة قائمة للمصطلحات لكن هناك أيضاً كثير من المواضيع كانت مبهمة بالنسبة لي وحتى بالاستعانة بالرسومات لم أفهمها مثل جزئية مخروط الضوء وسهم الزمان..
طبعاً يرى أن بداية البداية للكون يمكن معرفتها تدريجي
Ivy Deliz
Whoever says this book was an easy read, must really not understand a word they read. The individual words are simple but the concepts described in this book are vey thought-provoking but very complicated. Actually, everything was going pretty well until Chapter 8: The Origin and Fate of the Universe, primarily because we really don't know what the real answer is so there's a lot of speculation and conflicting theories.

One of the crazy things I enjoyed learning is how forces are actually caused
What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?

The thing about reading something by Stephen Hawking is that by the time you're finished with the book, you're hooked. Few scientists manage to inspire their passion for their field in their readers as he does, in fact it was thanks to Stephen Hawking that I almost pursued a career in physics (but that's another story).

A Brief History of time is, in a way, the precursor to all Hawking's other books writte
This is a generous 3 stars. Its hard to pin point what I did not like about it because I did like it. Still I come away from reading this with an overwhelming sense of relief that I can move on and disappointment that it took so long to complete.

While I consider astronomy and to a degree, physics as it relates to astronomy, a field of interest, I had to struggled to motivate myself to set aside time to read this. The examples were clear and understandable, the humor humorous, and the knowledge i
A long, long time ago, before I became a humanities student at university, I loved science. I adored physics in high school. Gravity, electromagnetic fields, laws of warmth - I devoured all subjects and was well-versed in the language of equations. I joined an extra-curricular science class, and visited the hadron collider in CERN. But physics disappeared from my life when I choose to pursue my dream of entering the literary field.

A Brief History of Time reminds me of why I frigging love physics
Lisa (Harmonybites)
A friend of mine loves this book and has read it more than once. Reassuring, since like me, she doesn't hold a doctorate in the sciences! In fact, as someone who used to do a lot of science reading--I read many a astronomy book by Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan once upon a time--most of the concepts here were very familiar. Well, until we reached the very weird land of quantum mechanics and string theory and imaginary numbers, where I admit I was pretty lost.

Hawking gives the history of the scienc
Gabriela Pop
This really pleased the science geek inside me.While some of the terms and ideas were easy to understand and work with,some did take quiet a bit of concentrating,but I found most things approachable.The little amusing/ironic comments made by Stephen Haking every now and again were,however,the best thing about this book for me.There's nothing as awesome as making jokes when talking about science,am I right?Still,I really loved it.
Michael Lawrence
Jul 10, 2008 Michael Lawrence rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Plato
Recommended to Michael by: Stephen Hawking
Copy from a briefer history review since very similar books.

It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination.

That was somehow lost in our information generation. So like I said, if this tiny take on life and physics gets into more hands then horray. Its a crazy world out there. Be curious.

This book takes topics like general relativity, quantum theory, string theory, the universe, it;
لا اقول أنني فهمت كل ما ورد في الكتاب ولذلك
جاءت نجمتين ناقصة في تقييمي لسبب في القارئ وليس في الكتاب
الكتاب والشرح والمضمون جميل وسلس
يكفي أن يأخذك للتأمل بهذا الكون واسراره وعبور الزمكان
مع لمسة خيال وجمالية العلم

This book discusses the origin of the universe, its future, and the way it could have developed to its current state, and bases all that on physics. It dives into the part of physics whose sole aim is to devise a unified theory that describes everything in the universe, or at least do that as much as possible.

The book starts out by discussing theories as they developed, beginning with theories we all are familiar with and consider trivial, and then showing how they have proven to be wrong in des
Safa Rawashdeh
المبدأ الإنساني : نحن نرى الكون بما هو عليه لأنه لو كان مختلفاً ، لما كنا هنا لنراقبه
وأنا أجلس في غرفتي المغلقة أقرأ هذا الكتاب ، خارح هذه الجدران هناك فضاء صخب لا متناهي يحدث ، بينما أنا هنا أقرأ عنه بهدوء

الكتاب سهل وبسيط لكن يحتاج أن تمتلك مرجعية عن مفاهيم الفيزياء والجيولوجيا ، إن كنت تذكر كتب الدراسة فستكفيك
Khalid Almoghrabi
yet you could expect to have a briefer version, Hawking made a briefer indeed. but it standstills as an excellent book to people who eager to know more about this world and what challenges do we face these days in understanding the world and the moment of the creation. I recommend the illustrated version of the book that comes with another book called a universe in a nutshell
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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...
The Grand Design The Universe in a Nutshell A Briefer History of Time Black Holes and Baby Universes The Illustrated A Brief History of Time and the Universe in a Nutshell

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“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?” 562 likes
“The universe doesn't allow perfection.” 102 likes
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