A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking

"However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientist. Than we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in he discussion of the question 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 than we would know the mind of God."

About the Author:

Stephen Hawking is probably the most famous living physicist. Born on February 8, 1942, in Oxford England, Stephen would soon change the world of physics. Hawking's final assignment before graduating from Oxford University was to write a 3 part paper on whatever he liked. At the time he was fascinated by black holes, but he reversed the process, and found that this could explain the beginning of time. He called this Theory the Big Bang Theory, and that theory accelerated his work right after college. After many hard years of trying to find a uniform theory, Stephen decided to wright a book, hopefully selling to people slightly interested in theoretical physics, and also to get some of his ideas on a uniform theory out there. He called this book A Brief History of Time, and its was a New York Times bestseller.


A Brief History of Time is a great book, especially for those just getting into theoretical physics. Hawking wrote this book for people of all knowledge levels, and skill levels, but primarily focused on lower knowledge levels. This book, while very interesting, just barely touches the world of physics. I feel like A Brief History of Time is great for giving people a touch of what is out there in the world of physics.
Chapter one is titled Our Picture of the Universe. This is a very important chapter, it really sets the foundation for the rest of the book, along with filling in the gaps that high school physics class left. Starting out with how the humans pi
ctured the universe back a thousand years before Christ, and moving to just passed Isaac Newtons theory of gravity. Because there really isn't that much to talk about, this chapter is one of the shortest chapter in the book.
Chapter two is titled Space Time. This is where the fun begins, this chapter starts with the history of Einstein, and how he came to writing his first paper in 1904, Special Relativity. Hawking goes into great detail about this theory because it is such a foundational theory for all of modern physics. This theory explains Newtons biggest problem with his theory of gravity, how it works. This was Einsteins greatest works, and what got his name known in the physics community.
Chapter three titled the Expanding Universe. This chapter outlines a group of young physicists painstaking discovery, that the universe is expanding. I call this discovery painstaking because the group needed to record a large amount of galaxies to determine this. This discovery is ground breaking because is is unlike anything predicted before, and raised one important question, where is this dark energy pulling the bodies apart?
Chapter four titled the Uncertainty Principle. This chapter takes us away from the larger scale of the universe, and focuses in on very small bits of it. It takes us down to the atomic level. An amazing discovery found that there is a relationship to how much we know about a small particles coordinates, and how much we know about a particles velocity. This is a astonishing discovery and leads us on a very different path than space time leads us.
Chapter five titled Black Holes. This chapter brings back some of the ideas of Einstein and his theories, and Hawking's theories to explain a event called a black hole. Not only does this chapter explain the formation, and strength of a black hole, but it also brings in some more knowledge on the fabric of space time.
chapter six titled black hole ain't so black. This smaller chapter goes into great detail on what happens when you fall into a black hole. It does a great job at explaining the time portion, and explains this from many different perspectives.
Chapter seven titled Elementary Particles and the Forces of Nature. This chapter is mostly vocab. It allows you to understand some of the key principles before explaining how they interact with each other, and some other complex rules they lay down. This is a great chapter to start understanding those more complex ideas your chemistry teacher doesn't what to get into, both because you would need a three dozen day lecture, and honestly its too complex, and puzzling they don't fully understand it.
Chapter eight titled the Origins and Fate of the Universe. This is a very important chapter because is spends its time on the two theory's, and how they explain what is happening to our universe, and what will happen to
our universe.It also goes into the ideas on how space time, mostly just time works in great explosions like the Big Bang.
Chapter nine titled the Arrow of time. This very confusing chapter confronts the looming question raised by chapter two. How does time actually work? This chapter bumps back to Special Relativity, and explains how space time should be properly seen. This chapter also explains what the end of chapter six was hinting at, when did time begin? Common belief is that time has no beginning, It was just always there, but the Big Bang states other wise. The Big Bang states that time, like the other three dimentions were created when the Big Bang happened.
Chapter ten titled Wormholes and Time Travel. While this is honestly the only reason anyone is actually interested in physics, this book does a great job at not only using the dream of everyone's to go back and buy apple shares, while still explaining how this could actually work, and how Special Relativity, and General Relativity predict time travel.
Chapter eleven titled the Unification of Physics. This is a very important chapter because it brings the two areas together. Hawking explains the different theories that have attempted to uniform the quantum realm with Einsteins theories. It primarily focuses on string theory, which states that all matter is just a vibrating string, and quantum loop theory, which states all matter is a tiny loop.
The final chapter not only does this chapter fill in any of the remaining questions Hawking foresaw, but it also explains what happens in the world of physics now. It shares where Hawking feels the most time, and resources should be spent to fulfill humans desire to learn all we can about the world around us.