Brian's Reviews > A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
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's review
Nov 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: science

Excellent, excellent book. If you like science at all, I would recommend this book. Reading this reminded me of my favorite class as a Freshman that I took with Nick (and where I learned how to spin a pen around my thumb) - Astronomy 101.

One thought about the subject, and then two observations:

Thought: Just picking this book makes you feel smarter. Starting to reading makes you feel really, really smart until you realize that if someone asked you to explain what you're reading you would sound like an idiot. Maybe that's just me. I started to understand the broad strokes, and will admit that Quantum Mechanics (study of really small stuff like atoms & quarks) was harder for me than Physics and Relativity Theory. Hawking does a nice job making the language as simple as possible, and using everyday examples to bring concepts to life. Only one equation in the book (E=MC2) and lots of pictures - perfect for me.

Observation #1 - There was almost as much talk in this book (about physics and the universe) about God as there was about Science. Philosophy and Physics seem to be merging based solely on my count of how often God was referenced in this book.
Observation #2 - Scientists are at least as, if not more egocentric than the rest of humanity. At least 10% of the book is dedicated to giving correct credit to who discovered what first, and who was wrong in what way. It's a bit like racing contests we'd have in grade school and everyone keeping track of who could run the fastest on which given day. Sure, I bet they study science for science's sake - but a lot of these guys just want to become immortal like Galileo or Einstein.

Added to my bucket list is to re-read this book with a separate sheet of paper and a pencil and write down all the things that didn't make sense to me (how can light be a wave and a particle? what are antiparticles? etc...) and try and study them. Or sit some engineer down and make them explain it to me :)
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message 1: by iArivu (last edited Jul 22, 2011 08:12AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

iArivu I am impressed. I got Stephen collection in kindle need to start reading it!

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