A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of Time

In the ten years since its publication in 1988, Stephen Hawking's classic work has become a landmark volume in scientific writing, with more than nine million copies in forty languages sold worldwide. That edition was on the cutting edge of what was then known about the origins and nature of the universe. But the intervening years have seen extraordinary advances in the technology of observing both the micro- and the macrocosmic worlds. These obs...

Details A Brief History of Time

TitleA Brief History of Time
Release DateSep 1st, 1998
PublisherBantam Books
GenreScience, Nonfiction, Physics, History, Philosophy, Astronomy, Classics, Popular Science, Space, Audiobook

Reviews A Brief History of Time

  • Bill
    This book puts me in mind of the story about how a Harvard number theorist, through some malfunction of the scheduling computer, got assigned to teach an introductory course in pre-calculus. Being one of those individuals to whom math came so easily that they couldn't grasp how difficult others found it, the professor had no idea what to cover in such a course. So, he went to the chair of the department, who told him: "You'll want to start with t...
  • Daniel
    It is not clear to me who is in the target audience for this book. At times it tries to explain basic concepts of modern physics in simple language, and at other times it assumes a familiarity with the same subject. For the first time I think I "understand" why absolute time is not consistent with relativity theory or that space-time curvature supplants the notion of gravity, and for that I thank the author. There are a few other things I believe...
  • Jason Koivu
    Isn't it amazing that a person can read a book like A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and come away feeling both smarter and dumber than before he started? What a universe we live in!It's quite short and generally a quick read. Not every page is filled with mind-blowing/numbing theories and brain-busting equations. Some of it is just history, say on Newton and such. However, there were a few pages worth of passages where my wee brain fel...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black HolesWhat is it that our eyes do that could possibly affect things? Stephen HawkingA Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes is a popular-science book on cosmology (the study of the universe) by British physicist Stephen Hawking. It was first published in 1988. Hawking wrote the book for nonspecialist readers with no prior knowledge of scientific theories. تاریخ نخستین...
  • Sean Barrs
    Stephen Hawking writes in a very simple and approachable way. On the surface the book has been written for the common man, for he who has little knowledge of theoretical physics. Hawking uses basic terminology and he tries not to overload his writing with explanations and information dumps, but at times it is very clear that the reader needs a certain level of knowledge to understand what he's talking about. As such, Hawking makes certain assumpt...
  • David Sarkies
    Things I learnt from Stephen Hawking11 October 2014 Ever since I took up physics in year 11 I have had a love affair with the subject, which is odd since I went on to study an arts/law degree (but that probably had something to do with the fact that I would not have had the staying power to pour all of my energy into helping human knowledge advance towards establishing a unified theory). I still wonder where I ended up getting this book, and it h...
  • Simon Clark
    This is an absolutely magical book, both objectively and for me specifically. I first read it when I was about 9 or 10, and ever since I've assumed that I didn't understand a thing, and read it as a childish boast. Fast forward nearly twenty years, degree and PhD in physics in hand, and I decided to give it a proper read. Much to my surprise I found that the book had permeated my brain! I remembered a huge number of the explanations, and the book...
  • Manny
    Apparently this book tops the world list of "bought but not read", which may explain why it's so universally acclaimed as a work of genius. If you know anything much about relativity or cosmology, it comes across as a potboiler, admittedly a well-written one with a great final sentence. I wasn't impressed.But... without it, we would never have had MC Hawking. If you haven't come across him, start with the lyrics to "E = MC Hawking". Then buy A Br...
  • Darwin8u
    “The universe doesn't allow perfection.” ― Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of TimeI know. I know. I both loved and hated this book. I definitely should never have read this book, cut the pages, opened the box, etc.. Somehow Stephen Hawking has written a book that gently fluffs the tail on Schrödinger's cat (or perhaps Schrödinger's cat is fluffing Dr. Hawking). Look, no doubt the guy is a genius and has a fantastic story (ALS, computer v...
  • Trevor
    The main idea to take away from this book is that time has a clear direction. Entropy is the idea that the universe moves from highly ordered states to less ordered states. If you take the lid off a bottle of perfume, and leave it off for a few days the perfume will go from being highly ordered (all in the bottle) to highly disordered (all over the room). Hawking uses this idea to explain why travelling back in time is impossible. It requires ver...
  • Matthew
    Hawking is a brilliant physicist and a true expert in explaining highly complex aspects of our physical universe in terms that can be understood by most lay people.Where Hawking fails, in my opinion, is his hubris. He proceeds in to the realm of metaphysics and religion in several portions of this book. For instance, in his chapter on the "arrow of time", he states that, essentially, the universe can only move in one direction of time. It cannot ...
  • Nandakishore Varma
    Manny says this book is in the "bought but not read" category for most people. Well, I'm proud to say that I bought and read it, that too in nearly one sitting - back in my geeky days, when I used to get a sexual high just from solving a hard maths puzzle.Unfortunately, I don't remember much of it (time for a re-read!) but I remember taking away the idea that time is a sphere. Being Indian, I loved this - because we are strong champions of cyclic...
  • Manuel Antão
    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.On Horse-Flies: "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking(Original Review, 1987)Will having read Hawking's book help me understand the way a horse-fly "grasps" the arrow of time?For starters, I'm great at killing horse-flies by hand. Should I get some black pyjamas and a balaclava and become a ninja? And there was me thinking that the horse-fly's all round vision and short nerve path...
  • Shine Sebastian
    Without a doubt a masterpiece!It's just incredible how Hawking explains to us the complex and mindboggling secrets and concepts of physics and our universe, with amazing wit , clarity, and simplicity.The questions that we all used to ask to ourselves and to our parents, about god, about time, life and it's meaning, the sky, stars, about who created our universe and about it's beginning, about our fate......we had that unique quality called curios...
  • Michael Finocchiaro
    A classic text where the amazing Stephen Hawking explains string theory and quantum mechanics "for dummies." Highly readable and even comical, it is a superb read. I need to go back and read this one again myself!
  • Nicky
    Stephen Hawking's book is easy to read, but harder to comprehend. In every chapter came a point where my brain couldn't hold another permutation of a theory, and as the book progressed, I ended up taking the same approach as I do when reading a Norse saga for the first time. With sagas, I just read, even if my brain doesn't seem to retain all the information about who is related to who and what they named their horse. Inevitably, at the end, I ha...
  • John Farebrother
    I've read this book twice, and for a brief instant, when reading about event horizons, I got it. But don't ask me to explain it now.The book explains in lay terms what several decades ago was only understood by a handful of people. Surprisingly, it is not devoid of humour, and is actually very readable. The remarkable author leads the reader on a journey from the earliest premises of the ancient astronomers right up to black holes and white dwarv...
  • Miquel Reina
    Oh, this is definitely one of my favorite books of science and my favorite one of Stephen Hawking. I love the way Hawking explains concepts so abstract and difficult to understand as time or black holes. It's a science book for the general public; you don't need to know math or physics to understand the amazing concepts about the Universe he tries to explain us. I totally recommend A Brief History Of Time to everyone, not only the lovers of scien...
  • Archit Ojha
    One of most famous and well written books on Physics. Recommended to the Science enthusiasts.
  • Kat Kennedy
    Stephen Hawking has reaffirmed my understanding that the earth sits on the shell of a tortoise and that it is, indeed, turtles all the way down.Jolly good show though, chap!
  • Kaelan Ratcliffe▪Κάϊλαν Ράτκλιφ▪كايِلان راتكِليف
    Rest In Peace Mr. Hawking, and Thank You During my time with this text, I made a comment alongside the percentage update I have for books I'm reading on goodreads. I said it was a strange experience to be reading an important and well loved book, only to have the author pass away during the time of said reading. To add to this, I was actually given this book years ago by someone close, and I never made a full start on it until now. So it was as e...
  • Saadia B. || Hustle, Bustle and Hurdles
    Only Hawkings could write this book - simple, to the point and extremely resourceful. Cosmology is not an easy subject neither can everyone understand its deep connotations. Hawkings made it understandable in the most layman terms possible.
  • Mustafa Ahmad
    I've always liked science. But, it has never really been easy to distinguish my favorite subject, as I really like them all, so science is on par with history and math and literature for me.But, after reading this book and the works of Brian Greene, as well as numerous other popular books on physics, I have seen science in an entirely different light. If people could still produce intelligent books such as this one, then our world might actually ...
  • Pink
    Wow, what a book. So comprehensive, yet written in laymens terms and cranking up the technical information with each chapter, so you don't feel completely lost. By the time you reach quantum mechanics and string theory you almost feel like you know what's happening. Okay, so you still have no idea how any of it works, but that's alright. I've never felt compelled to read this. A book about space and physics is not my go to reading material and al...
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    All I can really tell you with certainty is 'A Brief History of Time' is very logically organized, but as each chapter described a series of linked discoveries and what it all meant, unfortunately it mostly was still opaque to me. Topics are introduced logically as Stephen Hawking describes in plain English the discoveries of scientists. He usually begins with observable phenomena which have led to verified maths (not actually detailed) demonstra...
  • 7jane
    Finally managed to finish this; I think having a reading space quiet enough helped. Here, Hawking talks about such things as the beginning of time, black holes, string theories, dimensions, wormholes and time-travel - things of the universe, and where things are going. There is no Carl Sagan introduction in my version, but there are some newer things included that weren't in the original but have been 'found' since then, like a flavor of quark (t...
  • モーリー
    It was while reading this that I finally had an "aha" moment about why it is that observation can change what you're trying to observe. I was always kind of skeptical of this, because I was wondering "what is it that our eyes do that could possibly affect things?" Stephen Hawking set me straight: it's the tiny speck of light that you have to shoot at what you're trying to observe that affects it. Light bulb is on!I have an interest in physics, an...
  • Nawal
    This is a review of a non-technical reader.A very readable and entertaining introduction to recent developments in physics and cosmology, Hawking attempts to deal with questions that bothered the cosmic physics community 20 years ago:Is the universe finite or infinite in extent and content? Is it eternal or does it have a beginning? Was it created? If not, where did it come from? ? What governs the laws and constants of physics? Why is the univer...
  • Annalisa
    Disclaimer: I love math and physics and books that make me feel stupid, as in they are that intelligent. It was interesting learning about the development of science as it refers to the way we think about the universe and how scientific discoveries have been influenced and influence the way people think about God. My favorite section was the discussion of black holes and antimatter. At times Hawking lost me. He wants to explain theory to the mass...