The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe
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The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  4,238 ratings  ·  50 reviews
This classic of contemporary science writing by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist explains to general readers what happened when the universe began, and how we know.
Paperback, 203 pages
Published August 18th 1993 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 1977)
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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonA Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingCosmos by Carl SaganThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
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Apr 06, 2012 Manny rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in Big Questions
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth...”

“Can we leave out God and just say that, in the beginning, the Universe got created?”


“Oh well, leave it in for now. Let's continue.”

The rest of this review is in my book If Research Were Romance and Other Implausible Conjectures
Steven Weinberg, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979, has made a genuine attempt to explain the Big Bang to a general audience, and while I did come away from this with a better understanding of the narrative of the events, the process remains a mystery. At first I thought that my lack of enjoyment of this was down to my own astonishing poverty of knowledge in matters of physics and cosmology. However, having looked a little further into it, it seems I am not the only one who found thi...more
A bang in the dawn: Physics of the origin of the universe

This book in cosmology requires some knowledge in undergraduate level physics, where the author chronicles the very early history of the universe while describing the underlying physical concepts. In the light of epoch experiments to be conducted with new Large Hadron Collider (LHC), during October 2008 at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The LHC will create the conditions of less than a millionth of a second after Big...more
Kevin Orrman-Rossiter
This is an account of the first three minutes of the universe. From the big bang the three minutes is completed with the contents of the universe in the form of light, neutrinos and anti-neutrinos, and some nuclear matter - electrons, protons and neutrons - cool enough to form complex nuclei of hydrogen, deuterium and helium. Eventually, after a few hundred thousand years, it would cool enough to form atoms of hydrogen and helium. This is the ‘standard model’, most are now familiar with the term...more
Nonostante il tema affascinante (a chi non interessa saperne di più sull'origine del nostro universo?), ho trovato tre difetti, nessuno dei quali imputabili all'autore.

Il primo consiste nella difficoltà che ho trovato nel capire alcuni passaggi. Credo che questo abbia più a che fare con le mie pietose conoscenze di fisica che con le capacità di Weinberg di spiegare bene. A questo proposito, ho trovato più chiaro Dove nascono le stelle di Margherita Hack, la quale probabilmente aveva ben presente...more
I'm not a physicist but I thought this was a very useful introduction to the thinking in physics at the time. It's probably a bit dated now. I find it fairly clear reading and enjoyable.
كتاب يتحدث عن نظرية ال big bang و خلفية الاشعاع الكونى و تمدد الكون و كيف تشكلت النجوم و الكواكب و الاقمار و كيف نشات الحياة على كوكب الارض
This book is hopelessly out of date - the original version was published over 35 years ago and the updated version is still over 20 years old. For that reason, I would definitely not recommend this as a first book for someone interested in the origins of the universe. However, that's not to say it's not a great book. Steven Weinberg has the talent of writing about a very complicated subject with clarity and simplicity, but not over-simplicity. It's also very interesting if you're even a little b...more
Nacho Gamboa
Pues, el libro está bastante interesante pero tiene dos grandes problemas, el primero: En definitiva este no es un libro para principiantes o de lectura casual, por más que el autor escriba en su prefacio que no se requiere conocimiento de física o matemática (lo cual es relativamente cierto, pero no del todo) el nivel técnico del libro es alto y hay que comprender ciertos principios y términos (entre otras cosas) para lograr "llevarse bien" con este libro, ya que Weinberg no "suaviza" el conten...more
Pete daPixie
The author is Professor of Physics at Harvard, which is fairly indicative of the level of 'The First Three Minutes'.
Marcus Chown's account of this subject matter is a better bet for the lay reader. Weinberg's account of the 'big bang', is a deeper dive into cosmology and particle physics, that I feel is more suited towards the student than the lay reader. However, this book is written in a style that can guide and carry the curious towards the frontiers of the sub atomic. Published in 1977, I'm...more
John E. Branch Jr.
Readers will have to look elsewhere for a serious review. Weinberg's book sits on the shelf where I keep background reading for a play about suicide (of which I've written one version), and an inscription tells me I bought my current edition of it in 2006, but I'm not sure now--six years later--how Weinberg's account of the beginning of the universe related to my subject. Possibly I wanted to see just what kind of story leads up to this final-page statement, which is close to famous among studen...more
Weinberg's classic of cosmology still reads well, even if it is a bit dated. This is not a book for the lay person, though. The book is filled with complicated and rigorous mathematical formalisms and has an appendix that doesn't' shy away from the quantitative work that went into reconstructing the universe in the minutes that followed the Big Bang itself.

The First Three Minutes is still an enjoyable read, even after over thirty years since the original date of publication. Newer editions have...more
Stefano Finazzo
Weinberg descreve o estado da arte da cosmologia... até meados da década de 80.

A descrição é simples, precisa e direta, e Weinberg lança mão de pouquíssimas analogias e imagens pictóricas.

Por um lado, ele evita o maior problema da divulgação científica, que é o abuso de analogias. Não há espaço para isso aqui. As coisas são, ou não são; não há meio termos ou poréns.

Por outro lado, a imagem é uma ferramenta muito poderosa. Imagens e analogias auxiliam no desenvolvimento da intuição física. O fís...more
It's a fairly short book, only about 155 pages but there is a lot of information in it. The history of discovering what the Universe was like after the Big Bang is covered, the missteps & a clarification of how things are missed even with useful information available. It obviously goes into the conditions of the early universe. For me personally, reading a little bit about the basics of Quantum Physics & relativity helped me out tremendously with certain topics that were covered & I...more
After having read Bill Bryson and Simon Singh, the style of this book seemed a little dry, but Prof. Weinberg is mainly a scientist and not a writer. As I understand it, this book was one of the first of its kind (after Gamows Mr. Tompkins), bringing science to the layman, so it should earn some respect, but in the meantime there have been issued better (and of course more up to date) books on the issue of the Big Bang. I just was very glad the mathematic formulas were put in an extra chapter at...more
Number 4 on my all time most influential list is this slim volume written by a physicist with a true gift of prose. The simple elegance of Dr. Weinburg's explanation of the neucleosysthesis of the visible universe erased any lingering childhood doubts I may have harbored that all creation myths were anything other than what they are, i.e. mythology. Another prop to the prevailing religious superstitions was reduced to meaninglessness. Yet, it did raise an entirely new level of contemplation. Whe...more
I have to warn you that Dr. Weinberg does not get to describing the actual "scene" of the big bang until chapter 5, but you will be happy to note that he describes it in terms of a movie, within several frames. Also, he covers the first 3 and 3/4 minutes. (He apologizes for the inaccuracy of the title.) Those looking for a more abstract book will be disappointed, as Dr. Weinberg's studies are in particle physics, as opposed to astrophysics. I think the word neutrino was mentioned no less than 30...more
Non proprio semplicissimo, ma con un po' di pazienza riesce a portare nella magia della nascita dell'universo.
Una storia fantastica.
Joe Zeniewicz
Though I'm not trained in physics I found the book to be an enjoyable read about the origins of the cosmos. I have to admit getting bogged down in places -- especially when Dr. Weinberg started talking about sub atomic particles. But on the whole I found the book to be a good read. I completely avoided the math supplement at the end of the book. That was way over my head!
Iso Cambia
Jun 27, 2014 Iso Cambia marked it as to-read
Shelves: science-et-al
Recommended in A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (p. vi).
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Todo un clásico de divulgación científica. El autor hace fotos a las pocas décimas, centésimas, millonésimas... de segundo del Big Bang, y nos habla de muchos procesos de partículas elementales que tuvieron parte en cada uno de esos momentos, hasta hacer del Universo lo que hoy vemos. Un libro épico que en su día resumió al gran público una cantidad gigantesca de conocimientos de astrofísica, cosmología y física de altas energías. Uno de los grandes de la divulgación. Imprescindible.
Nov 03, 2008 laura marked it as to-read
today i went to the bookstore to buy my books for class, which starts tomorrow, and at the same moment that i realized i'd forgotten my check book, my friend andrew called to say that he was on his way to come and pick me up for a trip to walden pond, with sandwiches. so i got this book instead, for some other class that i'm not taking, and i read it at the pond. i'm still not up to the end of the first minute yet, but it was so much more than plenty for one day.
Tim Kim
While I was reading this book, I felt the whole time that I was inside a pressure cooker...I would recommend this book for undergraduate student who are pursuing a major in Physics/Astrophysics/Particle Physics, not for general public though. The book is too ambiguous and frustrating. I suspect that what you get from a professor of physics. There is plenty of other books that deal with the creation of the universe in a more pleasant to read way.
Ciarán Campbell
Weinberg has done an excellent job throughout the book in segmenting mathematical calculations with clearly defined narrative. Even though the text is a little dated, it always blows my mind to look at the exponential growth of that 1st second of existence in the universe. This is were Weinberg's strength really kicks in...fantastic insight from a Physics genius but with enough explanatory text for most to appreciate it. LOVED IT!!
Kenny Johnson
A wonderful read but not for the unscientific mind. Advanced concepts in astrology, chemistry, physics, and distance telemetry are discussed ad nauseum. In the years since this book has beeen written Dr. Weinberg has come to doubt or retract his opinions and reasoning due to recent technological advances. 7/10 ... ~Kenny
This book is rather outdated, but beyond that, I didn't find it really saying or explaining much. There are much better books on the subject now. But of course, this is one that the latest authors refer to. At the time, it was probably a breath of fresh air. But now a days, I would try Calibrating the Cosmos first.

This was very difficult for me to read and understand, but the content is extremely fascinating. I give it 3 stars because I had to work really hard to enjoy it. This is not a pop-science book. It really puts you in a different frame of mind to seriously analyze events taking place at unbelievably micro/macro levels/timescales.
This is the book that turned me on to physics. Sure, it was Carl Sagan who turned me on to science and scientific thinking (skepticism), but Weinberg's "The First Three Minutes" made me realize that all of my most profound questions had answers in the field of physics.
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“فالسعى إلى رضا عن فهم الكون هو من الأشياء النادرة التى تسمو بالإنسان فوق مستوى الترهات ،وتنعم عليه بشىء من شرف المشاركة فى هذه المسرحية المأساوية .” 2 likes
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