a brief history of time

title: A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes

author: Stephen Hawking

genre: Non-fiction, physics, theories, space

suggested by: Nick H.

dates read: July 27th – July 31st

review: 4 out of 5 stars

summary: Hawking explains the history of theories of the cosmos, showing the evolution of the theories over time. He talks about theories of time, black holes, wormholes, and time travel. He talks about the Big Bang theory, the finite and yet boundless properties of the universe, and abstract ideas such as string theory. Simplistic, complex, and everything in between, Hawking encourages the exploration of how and why we’re here.

personal thoughts: It’s funny because when Nick suggested this to me, I heard “Stephen King,” and proceeded to ask if it was scary and talked about reading “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.” He gave me a puzzled look and then I realized my mistake. We both had a laugh about it. As with the other science-y books that I’ve read this year, there were parts that went way over my head, but also parts that were extremely interesting and actually made sense (which was always exciting.) He went from simplistic concepts and descriptions, to very complex and mind-boggling theories (with things in-between). Some of the diagrams gave me a better understanding of what he was talking about, while others only served to further confuse me. I think I need my dad to break it down for me. Again, I’m always blown away by the ideas and discoveries that science has inspired, and it’s clear that Hawking has a passion for his work. I am in awe of the abstract thoughts and ideas that have come about over the years and wish that I had a better understanding of them.

favorite quotes:
“An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job!” p. 11

“It is a matter of common experience that disorder will tend to increase if things are left to themselves.” p. 115

“if we do discover a complete theory. . .Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of why it is that we and the universe exist.   If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.” p. 209, 210

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