Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of TimeA Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book many years ago. It was my first book about physics, and I'm so lucky that it was because it inspired an interest in other books about physics, not all of which have been as enjoyable as this one. At the time I read it I did not have any understanding of what Einstein's theories of Special and General relativity meant for humans' understanding of time and space. It was also my first introduction to quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle. That changed my understanding of reality (or lack thereof?)

Particularly because it was the first to introduce me to these ideas, this book was one of the most important books I've read. It changed the way I saw everything.

It's also a good history of physics. It's not completely clear on the current controversies of physics because Hawking favored his own views over the controversies generally.

Update: I lowered the number of stars from 5 to 4 only because Hawking's book The Universe in a Nutshell is *very similar but I think the organization is way better.

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