Ed Holden's Reviews > Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe

Big Bang by Simon Singh
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's review
Aug 06, 2011

it was amazing
Read from August 15 to 21, 2011

This is possibly the best science book I've ever read. Far from being about the Big Bang specifically, and without asking the reader to take any of the case for this amazing theory for granted, Singh takes his usual knack for explaining complex concepts to the layperson and tunes it up to eleven, effectively building the case for the Big Bang from first principles. We start with Ptolemy and the Greeks, move into the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and so on, and along the way we put together the whole of cosmology and theoretical physics as if from a Lego kit.

If there is anything you might have doubted about the Big Bang, it's covered here, and the evidence is pretty thoroughly detailed. Highly recommended.

Update 2013: I read an article on rereading. Then, to show I was serious, I read that article again. I realized that (a) it's true that reading a book multiple times is more immersive and lasting than reading it and casting it aside forever, and that (b) I hadn't reread a book in a long time.

Big Bang is a great candidate for a book to reread. It's chock full of scientific discovery, yet the discoveries it elucidates are linear and logically connected to a larger goal, making for a great narrative, so I found it worthwhile to remind myself of every link in the chain. In particular I'm glad to have been reminded of the contributions of Tycho Brahe, Johnannes Kepler and Edwin Hubble. My original review still expresses my enthusiasm for this book: this is probably the best book on physics for the layperson I've encountered.

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Reading Progress

07/10/2013 marked as: currently-reading
07/18/2013 marked as: read

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