Book Review: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

The theory of creation in brief…

 

Scientists may not be as sexy as they were in the early 20th century. In an era where the world is waffling in its commitment to natural sciences, it is reassuring to hear Stephen Hawking defend this esoteric field for its own sake. As the title implies, ‘A Brief History of Time’ is a succinct review of this challenging task, providing the reader with a jaunty summary of key cosmological ideas including multidimensional space, the inflationary universe, and the cosmic fates that explain the construction and potential destruction of the universe. He discusses two major theories, relativity and quantum physics, that modern scientists use to describe the universe. Finally, he talks about the search for a unifying theory that explains everything in the universe in a coherent manner.

Stephen Hawking’s ‘A Brief History of Time’ is an attempt to clarify to laymen the laws of physics and their impact on the functioning of the universe. In the book, Hawking tries to explain dense and sophisticated theories in a way similar to a fire-side chat with a scientist, such that someone without an advanced physics degree can understand. For most of the part, he’s successful. Given the variety of subjects that the book touches, I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone curious about physics or to someone looking for something challenging to read. It’s one of a very few books in this category that maintained a continued interest despite the fact that a lot of its contents stretch the reader further than is usually expected in a book of this sort. I must admit, there were more than a few times when I was a little lost and unable to follow the thread of what Hawking was explaining. I believe, this had more to do with the concepts that Hawking brings up instead of a problem with his actual writing. In every chapter, came a point where my brain could not hold on to another permutation of a theory. Of all the books I’ve read in my life, this has to have the highest educational value per page.

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