Saturday, September 25, 2010

(Book #32) Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking, is a book for those that are interested in the science of the cosmos but are non-scientists themselves. Throughout the book, Hawking manages to take some of the more mind boggling aspects of physics, such as relativity and quantum mechanics, and break them down into a language that inquisitive mind can follow (mostly). Sure, any reader could get a bit lost in some of the concepts, but Hawking manages to keep the discourse grounded in a way that the content can be brought to the masses very much in the tradition of Carl Sagan. Hawking clearly has such an incredible understanding of these immense subjects that the book could have easily strayed into the overly technical and speculative. Having only read segments of this book previously, It was refreshing to reengage and follow through with the subject matter and grasp some of the more complicated temporal concepts. The book acknowledges the fact that our understanding of the universe is constantly evolving and that some of the theories written about may someday seem as antiquated and inaccurate as "the world is flat". With Hawking originally having written this in the late 80's, one cannot help but think about how much more has already been explored and understood just in the last 20 years. We are left with a sense of wonder about new discoveries on the horizon and what these advances would mean for the human species as a whole.

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