On the Shoulders of Giants
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On the Shoulders of Giants

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  2,000 ratings  ·  39 reviews
XIII, 1264 p : ill ; 24 cm.
Hardcover, 1264 pages
Published October 30th 2003 by Philadelphia [etc.] : Running Press, cop. 2002 (first published 2002)
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Pete daPixie
On the shoulders of giants, the reader may well have their head in the clouds. The book contains five giants of astronomy and physics, namely Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Their famous works are 'On the revolutions of heavenly spheres' by Copernicus. 'Dialogues concerning two new sciences' by Galileo Galilei, 'Harmonies of the world' by Johannes Kepler, 'Principia' by Isaac Newton and 'The principle of relativity' by Albert Einstein.
This is a really intimidating book, both in size and most definitely, in content! It's a highly recommended read for anyone who has an interest in physics as it contains much of the original material from which huge sections of classical physics are derived.

The problem with this however is that four of the five texts contained in this book are between 500 and 350 years old and so the writing style is incredibly far removed from modern scientific writing. Galileo's section for example is presente...more
Seth Zenz
Totally unreadable -- even if you are an expert on the contents by profession, you will find the methods archaic and the notation obfuscatory -- but five stars for being full of genius. The brief section from Einstein is more accessible, as are Hawking's commentaries, but Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton are very difficult indeed. It is, however, pretty neat to see what these important original works looked like.
a very hard read
Bistra Ivanova
Като издателски проект това е една безобразна* книга и сега ще ви кажа защо. За автор е посочен Стивън Хоукинг, обаче аз някакси не вярвам той да е написал и ред, а дори да е - загубил си е времето, защото в написаното няма нищо оригинално.
Книгата съдържа 250 страници, хартията е тежка и луксозна, кориците са твърди, има много илюстрации, наборното поле е с 1/3 по-малко от обичайното, цената е 50 лева - в това отношение всичко е окей, защото попада в категорията "за подарък". (Или в моя случай...more
I didn't read it all from cover to cover because it is not as acessible as Hawking's other popular writings for the most part. Reading the scientists from Copernicus to Einstein, you will discover your favorite. Mine was Galileo because he wrote dialogues that were easy to digest and made you think. His style and characters reminded me a bit of Plato.

I wonder how much work Stephen Hawking actually put into this book, all I konw for sure is that the foreword and brief biographies are probably hi...more
John Rauch
I've really enjoyed the 'life and works' sections, written by Hawking. The actual published works of the scientists mentioned are somewhat more tedious, especially the older ones, because of the language used and my inability to grasp some of the math easily. I'm not finished with all of the originally published stuff, but I'm working through it in bits and pieces, not in chronological order. While all of these men are fascinating, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein are clear sta...more
Христо Блажев
Стивън Хокинг разказва за гигантите, на чийто рамене е стъпила съвременната наука

Сигурно всяко момче като малкo е билo запленено от космоса и неговите загадки, дори и само след прочитането на Одисеята на Артър Кларк. Тази страст никога не ме е напускала, а изпитвам и нестихващ интерес към хората, развили науката до висините, които е достигнала в момента.

Затова и мигновенически се влюбих в двете изключителни книги на Стивън Хокинг. Едва дочаках да сложа ал...more
Pequeñas biografías de Copérnico, Galileo, Kepler, Newton y Einstein, con una explicación de su obra mas significativa.
Carlos Arturo
La explicación de las grandes obras de la física y de la astronomía explicadas por el genio Stephen Hawking, hacen que este libro sea una aventura. Sin uso de lenguaje complicado, Hawking nos introduce a su mundo, a nuestro mundo.
Tato Serega
Muy interesantes las historias de cada uno de los "gigantes", repletas de detalles. Es genial la historia de Galileo contra la Inquisición. Puede que para gente no muy cercana a la física y/o a la matemática el desarrollo de las teorías sea difícil de seguir y entender.
The old scientists used to give praises to God, quote from the Bible and that sort of stuff. Sadly, it doesn't happen anymore.

When Hawking quotes Copernicus, he includes Copernicus' comments about God. I'm glad he did that.

Good book! Wide and deep in science.
This is a collection of essays/papers from the scientific greats: Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein. Hawking provides introductions that explain each of the selections so that you have a rough idea of what each author is attempting to communicate.
Bill Carney
You'll need about 20 grams of caffeine, 12 months and a public storage facility to house the book when you're not reading it. It's only a few hundred pages yet it takes up like half of my bookshelf. I could do about 30 pages at a time. Fascinating stuff though.
Pat Lee
Hawking enthusiasts should beware! This particular book is likely not for you. His intended audience are people with a background and sharp understanding physics, plus those fascinated by history of science, but not afraid of a bit of math.
book giving the history of both physics and astronomy through the works of the most influential of its practicioners. Includes a lot of sketches and some pretty technical terms but I think still a book many could pick up and read.
Jan 24, 2009 alissa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I may be wrong, but wasn't this said to make fun of Pope? Anyway--I've started it. Who knows how far I'll get. This book belongs in the same category as "Godel, Escher, and Bach" for me.
Joel Brumfield
A wonderful collection of the greatest physics papers ever writte, from Aristotle to Newton and Einstein plus others. A must have for anyone interested in science or physics.

Gary Brooks
I really enjoyed this book. its an excellent learning experience. even across the great diaspora of science, Prof Hawking magically weaves it all together to complete picture.Wonderful.
Brief biographies of all the researchers/astronomers who came before Mr Hawkings, upon whom his own knowledge and research is built. An easy read for those who are interested.
Very interesting to see these original works, but I
just skimmed through the book a couple of times.
Very hard to actually read if your just used to reading popular science.
Adrienne Stapleton
Very satisfying to read the original works of these great astronomers and to follow their lines of arguments. A valuable reference work.
Hard to read, enormous in information, it spends most of the reader concentration, but yet one of the most exciting books i have.
Excellent! A great view of the theories, applications and contributions to math and science from the subjects greatest minds.
Apr 01, 2009 Alex marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This has been on my shelf for a few weeks now, and I'm very excited to get started on it this summer.
Doubles as an amazing recount of scientific advancement and a club to thwart off theives.
Jul 01, 2011 Art marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Found while reading about Galileo's purported quote "and yet it still moves".
Interesting but a bit dense and tough to comprehend at times.
hawkings is great.astronomy is an infinite world in our world.
One of the five books I've read in my life. Yeeaaaaa...
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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
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