A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes
Stephen Hawking
(Bantam Press, Great Britain: 1988)

With an introduction by Carl Sagan.

READ: September - December 2006 (intermittent)

This is not a big book (185 pages), but in it, Stephen Hawking covers a massive amount of ground. Starting from the Greeks, and running through Newton all the way to Einstein and beyond, Hawking attempts to outline for us, the non-science-y people, that area of physics that explores questions of time and space and, most importantly, the search for a theory that would explain it all. The meaning of life in one sentence (or rather, since it is physics, one equation).

I won't pretend I even begin to understand everything he talked about (in fact, the truth is far from that), but it is a fascinating read. Though a little tough and dry at times, Hawking generally does a good job of explaining concepts. A piece of advice for those who want to read it: Rather than reading it in dribs and drabs over a few months like I did, read it in as concentrated a period of time as you can. I want to re-read this book again at some point in the next year or so, and do exactly that - I think that way I'll get a better understanding of it.

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