A Brief History of Time
A Brief History of Time, published in 1988, was a landmark volume in science writing and in world-wide acclaim and popularity, with more than 9 million copies in print globally. The original edition was on the cutting edge of what was then known about the origins and nature of the universe. But the ensuing years have seen extraordinary advances in the technology of observing both the micro—and the macrocosmic world—observations that have confirmed many of Hawking's theoretical predictions in the first edition of his book.
Now a decade later, this edition updates the chapters throughout to document those advances, and also includes an entirely new chapter on Wormholes and Time Travel and a new introduction. It make vividly clear why A Brief History of Time has transformed our view of the universe.
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I once read somewhere that if there is a book that is sold more than bible than it was this book. Of course, I later found it to be an exaggeration by the writer of that fact but yes, it was sold heavily when it was released.
First, the book is written by an enigmatic personality who despite having physical limitations has solely discovered many secrets of the universe. Stephen Hawking was already a hero before this book arrived and after this book, he became a sort of legend. This can be easily proven by the fact that he was the professor at the same university and was sitting in the same position where Newton used to sit 300 years back.
Everyone bought this book but not many read as they found to be a little complex or rather assumed that since it involved physics so it was supposed to be a complex book.
However, the entire book is just philosophy, some science and interesting trivia’s and facts about our world and beyond. There is only one equation used in the book and that too is the most familiar equation of all time. Even people who hate maths and physics know about the equation. The equation was E equals to M*C(square), the world-famous equation given by Einstein which changed the way scientists looked at the matter and helped them invent many things thereafter.
The book is not autobiographical and the author never talks about himself in the book. He only talks about the universe and its law in the most basic fashion that there could be.
I was in the final year of my school and I was preparing for my engineering exams when my cousin visited my home and during a casual conversation asked me whether I know that time is absolute.
I was offended to know such a fact because it opposed everything I knew and was taught. I was like how can two different people have two different time zones. I totally negated him but then to prove himself right he asked me to read this book called “A brief history of time” which I had seen on books stands previously but never took the courage to buy it.
Finally, I bought it and it opened my eyes to so many things about science which I didn’t know before. It opened an entirely new world for me like why we live in three dimensions and not more or less than that, and why time is relative and what is the exact meaning of the Einstein’s famous equation.
I also got to know a lot about black holes which again I find it to be a very interesting topic and later I read an entire book on the same subject by the same author. There was a time when I thought that maybe Hawking’s was obsessed about Blackholes but after reading a lot about Black holes I came to know why. The theories about black holes solved myriads of mysteries of science. Black holes are also related to time travel, the most used and most favourite topic of writing for science fiction authors.
This book is brilliant because even a man with no science background can read it and find it interesting. You don’t expect such kind of simple language from a scientist because normally such kind of topics are aimed at only a section of people who have a background on such topics.
I think every kid should be made to read this book so that they can develop some interest in science. I think I read it very later in life because if I had read it earlier, I would have opted for science as a career and not filmmaking. I was good in science and theoretical physics had always attracted me.
However, this book is also the reason why I ranked less in my exams that year because this book started a chain of thoughts inside me which led me to buy more books and I ended up buying more books on the same subject, mostly by him and Roger Penrose, another author whom I love dearly.
In the end, I would just like to say that this book is a must read and you should give it a go.