Brian's Reviews > The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell

The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nut... by Stephen Hawking
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's review
Oct 02, 2009

it was amazing
Read in October, 2009

Got sucked into this one rather like into a black hole. After having my mind stretched nearly to the point of having all preconceived notions torn apart, I emerge into an "elsewhere", as if into a parallel universe (or some other place and time of our own).

In other words, I learned a few things from this book. Really readable for the armchair astronomer/physicist, and highly suitable for those more interested in the ideas of physics without having to perform the mechanics of it (although, a large part of me wants to look at that too). That said, some entry-level interest in these things, and certainly a great degree of patience with some of the more complicated matter are required to persevere through this book. Several concepts/fields still remain fuzzy and require further exploration for me (e.g., the intricacies of quantum mechanics and string-theory), but overall this is fascinating stuff.

What is more, the computer-generated illustrations were remarkable and often, though not always, helpful.

This review is for "A Brief History of Time". I'm just getting started in "The Universe in a Nutshell"
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Reading Progress

10/02/2009 page 195
42.03% "the more I read the more fascinated I become."
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Glad you liked it!

I think "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" by Richard P. Feynman is generally well regarded for quantum mechanics, and of course I liked (and own) "The Physics of Superheroes" by James Kakalios for a more general view of physics rather than a focus on the "cool" quantum and cosmology stuff.

If you're interested in the mechanics, you're welcome to borrow any textbooks I still have. I'm not sure it's all that enlightening outside a class. At the undergraduate level it is mostly just ordinary calculus. (Then again, I appreciated calculus a lot more after working my first two semesters of physics problems.)

Brian Thanks for the offer Mark! I was recently eyeing "QED"'s all highly interesting. I actually loved physics and calculus in high school, but was obviously carried away in a different direction in college. Reading this stuff has revived a lot of that interest. Anyways, "ordinary calculus" may be all I could handle for now. ;)

I'll let you know about the textbooks!


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