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The Illustrated A Brief History of Time: Updated and Expanded Edition
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am 22. September 2017
I've bough this book as a present for my good friend. And he was very happy to see it. He is a fan of science. And this book mean a lot for him.
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am 28. April 2017
Really great book written by one of the brightest persons of our time. A must read for everyone who is into space and physics!
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am 29. August 2017
It is a really good book, I totally recommend it if you're interested in how the universe works, and the history of physics.
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am 17. Oktober 2013
Leicht verständlich und instruktiv. (Englische Originalfassung) Werde alle Werke von Stephen Hawking auch noch lesen. Entspricht eigentlich immer noch letztem Stand der Wissenschaft.
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am 23. Februar 2014
Supposedly it is for laymen. Well, even for a laywoman it was an enjoyable read. Short and to the point, with some images to illustrate one point or another.
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am 3. Februar 2000
Most people know that Hawking is a brilliant physicist, but after reading this book, one develops a respect for his other talents as well. Most noticeable is Stephen Hawking's ability to make very complicated ideas seem quite clear through good explanations, clear comparisons to real life events, and a soft humor. The organization of chapers mostly follows a chronological order, which gives a sense of history from Aristotle to present day, yet also establishes concepts in an order that builds on itself. One also realizes that A Brief History of Time was written by a writer, not a scientist who happened to put ideas to paper. This makes a big difference in the enjoyment of a book, since good information in a dry, dull form can be difficult to read (remember trying to keep your eyes open while reading a dull textbook in a subject of interest?). On the other hand, interesting information presented in an interesting manner make A Brief History of Time as much of a 'page-turner' as physics can be.
In summary, a fountain of information from galaxies and black holes to quantum mechanics presented in such a way that is not only as easy to understand as it can be, but is an enjoyable experience to read.
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am 1. April 2000
One of the greatest living physicists, Stephen Hawking is also an amazing popularizer of science, a characteristic of many of the truly Creative Geniuses as opposed to the Follower Geniuses who are so abundant in science. I recommend that the reader consult parallel texts of slightly greater mathematical and physical difficulty to better understand what is going on, if necessary with the help of consultants or tutors. I have already remarked in other reviews for Amazon.com on the difficulty of understanding entropy, for example, which comes in many types not all of which are similar, and its relationship to probability, chaos, and so on is not quite settled at this time. The interested reader could consult Ruelle's book (I forget its date at the moment) for a readable and inspired account of entropy by one of its pioneers. There has also been some recent work indicating that more information can come out of a black hole than Hawking thought. I recommend that readers also read Roger Penrose's two books of the last 20 years, which are also popularized science which compare idealism and materialsm (the latter as represented by computer Ingenious Followers, in my terminology). Penrose and Hawking discovered many of their discoveries together.
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am 16. Juli 2000
This book presents theoretical physics as easily as is possible. However, that does not mean this book is easy to understand. It is filled with diagrams to help you get the idea of what the author is talking about. Some of them help, some of them confuse you even more. I'm a straight A college student, and after reading this book twice, there are still many sections I don't understand. However the parts you do understand will fascinate you. Recommended.
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am 16. Juli 2000
This is the second time I have read this book.
The first time I read it was when it was first released in the eighties... the updated 10th anniversary version is pretty much the same thing with some added discussion on string theory... basically more revised.
First of all, the book is not easy to read... especially for those who cannot clear their minds of everything to focus on what is being read. Without a clear mind you will be lost... it takes common sense, good logic and quiet surroundings to successfully read the book in its entirety.
Second, the topics covered are well laid out... from relativity, to quantum mechanics, to the cosmos, to string theory... and even a chapter discussing our existence and how God fits in the picture. All in all, every chapter builds on the next very well, and the visual/"plain English" descriptions blend well with the scientific terminology.
Third, the chapter on string theory (which was recently added) left me feeling a little hungry for more... although it describes what string theory is, I felt a lacking of completeness... probably due to the fact that this is a newer field in theoretical physics.
If you are interested in theoretical physics at all, and wish to understand Einstein's theories of relativity and how the fit with quantum mechanics, then this is the book to start with. After having read this book you will feel the urge to get some other books discussing quantum mechanics, space-time warpings, string theory, wormholes, and black holes.
Believe me... theoretical physics is a very interesting subject that has been developed over many years by brilliant minds... those who are able to open their minds to what the cosmos and the universe have to show can certainly achieve understanding... and perhaps question things further.
Enjoy!
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am 13. Juni 2000
Hawking has done the world a tremendous service by bringing the physics of the late twentieth century to a broad audience. For that alone he deserves enormous recognition.
Re-reading the book, ten years after publication, is a worthwhile effort. He has added material, with a fuller (and more up to date) discussion of string theory and wormholes in space. In fact Hawking never misses an opportunity to refer to Star Trek - though this is no bad thing.
Still, the book does miss the mark in a few ways. It is tremendously ambitious in scope, attempting as it does to encompass all the relevant physics from Aristotle through Galileo and Newton to Einstein and Kip Thorne and Hawking himself. The breathless novice could be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed at the pace. And though Hawking obviously prides himself on clear, plain-language explanations, his writing is often betrays his mathematician's lexicon (for instance, often describing "a class of objects...").
A longer but more sensible and structured path is now on offer from David Greene, in the Elegant Universe. But "Brief History..." has a certain timeless coffee table appeal and chatty style that ensures it remain a classic.
Hawking's prose occasionally betrays a touch of the arrogance that inevitably accompanies genius: he proudly relates being told he's "sold more books on physics than Madonna has on Sex". Quite so. But that doesn't lessen the achievement.
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