Paul Darcy's Reviews > A Briefer History of Time

A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
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's review
Jan 08, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: science

By Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, published in 2005.

This is an updated version of “A Brief History In Time” as you may have guessed from the title. It is a slightly toned down version meaning the formulas have been stripped out and an attempt has been made to explain things in a more concise and less technical way.

Does it work? I’m not entirely sure.

I find space and time and gravity very interesting topics and inside this book you will find discussions of them all and how they relate and behave. Very complicated concepts abound, and no real amount of layman speak can truly elucidate the hard to imagine reality we inhabit.

It is just too darn complicated and not really what we observe in our day to day lives. Do we notice time moving more slowly the closer we get to centers of gravity? Do we see and feel the weak and strong nuclear forces at work? Can we really envision a black hole where time and space essentially curl in upon themselves and even light can not escape?

How about that everything tangible we see may in fact be just the manifestation in four dimensional space-time of waves vibrating on open or closed looping strings that have only one dimension?

Sound confusing? Well, actually it is and made more so by the fact that none of it is readily observable/explainable to the general man/woman on the street. Still, damn fascinating though.

This book does a great job of getting the message across of what is know in science today to explain how the universe works based on repeatable observations so far. But, unless you are already up on general relativity and quantum mechanics all of the layman speak in the world cannot really relate what is going on.

If you haven’t already read “A Brief History Of Time”, or even if you have, I think it’s time to pick up “A Briefer History Of Time” anyhow.

One cool thing added at the end is a two page discussion on Einstein, Newton and Galileo. Some things in these short passages that I didn’t know. Very cool addition.

Anyhow, this is great stuff that never fails to get me thinking about the ultimate questions of life, the universe and everything.

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