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Black Holes: The BBC Reith Lectures

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,854 ratings  ·  256 reviews
The legendary physicist explores his favorite subject in a pair of enlightening, accessible, and cleverly illustrated essays for curious readers, originally delivered as BBC lectures.

“It is said that fact is sometimes stranger than fiction, and nowhere is that more true than in the case of black holes. Black holes are stranger than anything dreamed up by science-fiction
Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Bantam Books (first published May 2016)
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Manuel Antão
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

“The Einstein Equations don’t work at a singularity”

In “Black Holes – The Reith Lectures” by Stephen Hawking

“In space, no one can you scream; and in a black hole, no one can see you disappear.”

In “Black Holes – The Reith Lectures” by Stephen Hawking

If you’re in the mood for physics, Hawking's paper, published 2016, states at the very end:

“We have reconsidered the black hole information paradox in light of recent insights into
☙ percy ❧
this is wonderful as an introduction to hawking's work, or as a reminder for people who read a brief history of time a while ago and would like to be reminded of the basic concepts. wouldn't recommend it for students of physics (just go straight for brief history) but excellent for the layperson.

if you don't know much about hawking's work or quantum physics/astrophysics in general i'd definitely say read this before anything else.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got me interested in Black Holes now!
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
This is the transcript of the two 2016 Reith Lectures, that Stephen Hawking delivered on the topic of Black Holes. The illustration and comments are very helpful and they give the reader a wider understanding about this topic.

The book is short, but intense. Full of information about Black Holes, their history and various theories and hypothesis about their formation, characteristics, and purpose.

Interesting read for anyone interested in Science, Physics, the Universe or just want to be a cool
Omar Fadel
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, english
A great beginner's guide to Black Holes. The illustrations were very useful as well as David Shukman's notes between the lines. While reading these two lectures, I was pausing at some points to watch a few scenes of the movie Interstellar in which the scientist characters explain several informations about Black Holes and the universe's dimensions in order to get a clearer understanding. However, I was surprised by his mentioning the movie.

Next Stephen Hawking read: A Brief History of Time.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ankit Saxena
Loved it..

Black Hole has always been my favorite topic of discussion and to study about since my childhood. This is the reason why I became fan of Stephan Hawking. His theories on Black Hole were always fascinating and logical to get more understanding of it. However, (view spoiler) though ironically,
Muthu Anand
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, books-own
So, if you feel you are in a black hole, don't give up: there is a way out, both in this universe and possibly to another.

A short and insightful read.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic-reads
I must admit that I am attracted to black holes if not by their immense gravitational power then by the mysticism that surrounds their existence and functioning. These powerful, enormous cosmic entities, these mysterious objects have so much happening within and around them that even a thousand theoretical papers are not enough to capture the nuances of their existence.


And this beautiful little book with Hawking's lectures on black holes with some added comments by the journalist does provide
Marius Paulsen (Antari-kun)
Super interesting and made me want to read more of Hawkings work!
Lynn Rainbow
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is an amazing journey through the history of theories about Black Holes! I always adore Stephen's way to explain difficult things in such easy sentences, and the only thing I have to criticize is that this book is too short. I just wish it had like 100 more pages and more in-depth explanations ~ #js
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is the one of the best books i have ever read.when i first looked at the name of book and author i thought it's gonna be tough to read with bunch of equations but thanks to Hawking's way of explaining of theories with simple language and awesome pictures i could not put this book aside until i finished it at once.Even if i read this book that does not mean i will not read one more time.And one recommendation for whom wants to read is if you search names and theories mentioned in book and ...more
Anuradha Gandhy
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Two lectures delivered by high priest of physics on a subject that had fascinated him for decades -||Blackholes||

Trapped in a ailing body,the plight of a genius whose mind roams around the strangest corners of the universe.... every thing about Hawking is a source of fascination for me.In this book he had taken on a scientific journey from Einstein's claim that stars could not collapse,through the acceptance of reality of blackholes,to a collision of theories over how these wierd features exist
Udit Nair
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's just a transcript of his two lectures he gave in 2016. Black holes fascinate everybody and I am also included in that list. Well Hawking also tried to explain the existing information paradox and other scientific aspects. Short read for anybody interested in black holes.
Ibrahim Mousa
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Felt the need to mark important things in this book, so...

"A singularity is what you end up with when a giant star is compressed to an unimaginably small point."

"A 'naked' singularity is a theoretical scenario in which a star collapses but an event horizon does not form around it - so the singularity would be visible."

"Quasars are the brightest objects in the universe, and possibly the most distant detected so far."

"Entropy means the tendency for anything that has order to become more disordered
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very short book that can be read in one sitting. A good brief history of blackholes from their discovery as a consquences of general relativity through to the thorny issues of information loss as result of quantum gravity.
Chameleon Bay
After a long and unfruitful pondering I still have no idea what "Black holes have no hair" means and the weird, childish pictures did nothing to help me.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not too black for a black hole

Liked the theories. Was very interesting. Good read to Kindle my interest in black holes. Would be goodfor quick reads.
Arunayan Sharma
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quest of knowledge never ends. This may be small book , but food for inquisitive mind.
Just Another Bookish Blog
Wow Stephen has no filter sometimes

Thank you for the inspiration, sir. Rest in peace
John Corlos
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2017
This book is small but the information present in it is enormous. If you want to know what Black Holes are , and if your mind keep on questioning about the facts of black holes ? , refer this and read this book.
Stephen Hawkings lecture is made into a book and it has descriptions about what he is saying after each terms.

I found it useful in gaining knowledge about black holes and many of the physics terms. There is complete satisfaction when you know a thing completely and this book gives that
Neel Tullu
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book to end my reading slump. Stephen Hawking always makes you linger around those possibilities that you might never consider in the first place. After reading this book I quickly hopped on to the Interwebs searching for all those mentioned scientists and their achievements thus reigniting my passion in Astronomy & Quantum mechanics. Highly recommend for a subtle introduction in this vast expanse of space.
Dhruv Bhandula
A wonderful and insightful lecture series by Stephen Hawking where he tries to explain one of the most mysterious objects in our universe, "The Black Holes". The added notes by the compiler of the lecture makes the lecture easier to understand to those who might not have too much of the background knowledge of theoretical physics. Overall, a wonderful hour spent.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, disturbing

In a very easy language, one can learn the basics principles of this intriguing Universe phenomenon, culminating in a unexpected final where it isn't as black as it was known and it should be a portal to another parallel Universe, in an one way and no return trip.
I think I got it.

The bits about science and how it works was the most interesting content, most likely because other content was so theoretical. But I think I got it. It was a quick read but I read it in two seatings.

Helmet reading challenge 2017 18: The title has at least four words
John Rhoads
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Physics can and has been made understandable to the layman.

What I appreciate most about this short essay is his use of plain language and simple illustrations to explain a fascinating theory. It's a great read. Thinking about giving my teen grandsons copy for Christmas.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and good short read. In an effort to reintroduce myself to an area of physics I haven't looked at since my degree, I gave this a go. Glad I did. Interesting and at times fascinating. Well worth a read!
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
Nothing special that he hasn't told already. Good introductory work though.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
super easy fun and intriguing read for all the science lover in you
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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. ...more
“In space no one can hear you scream; and in a black hole, no one can see you disappear.” 3 likes
“A scientific law is not a scientific law if it only holds when some supernatural being decides to let things run and not intervene. In” 2 likes
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