Students of the sciences and armchair physicists alike will all find something of worth in A Briefer History of Time. Well thought out and delivered with Hawking's straightforwardly scientific approach, it is an insightful and intelligent work.
Stephen Hawking's worldwide best seller, A Brief History of Time, has been a landmark volume in scientific writing. Its author's engaging voice is one reason, and the compelling subjects he addresses is another: the nature of space and time, the role of God in creation, and the history and future of the universe. But it is also true that in the years since its publication, readers have repeatedly told Professor Hawking of their great difficulty in understanding some of the book's most important concepts. This is the origin of and the reason for A Briefer History of Time: its author's wish to make its content more accessible, as well as to bring it up-to-date with the latest scientific observations and findings.
Although this audiobook is literally somewhat "briefer", it actually expands on the great subjects of the original. Purely technical concepts, such as the mathematics of chaotic boundary conditions, are gone. Conversely, subjects of wide interest that were difficult to follow because they were interspersed throughout the production have now been given entire chapters of their own, including relativity, curved space, and quantum theory. This reorganization has allowed the authors to expand areas of special interest and recent progress, from the latest developments in string theory to exciting developments in the search for a complete, unified theory of all the forces of physics.
Like prior editions, but even more so, A Briefer History of Time will guide non-scientists everywhere in the ongoing search for the tantalizing secrets at the heart of time and space.
©2005 Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow; (P)2005 Random House Audiobooks
Great information, as is to be expected but a lot of references to God and a feeling that in some ways efforts have been made to make the information more acceptable to religious folk!
This book is excellent. It's clear and simple descriptions of some pretty mind bending science is the reason why this book has been such a world-wide hit for so long. My only quibble is the narration. I worked for many years producing spoken audio and, though the narrator has an interesting voice and obvious passion for the subject, he seems a little unprepared. Several times he stubbles over difficult names, words or scentence structures. As an audio producer I know that this is down to either not being supplied with a pronunciation list, or not rehersing the script. The audio producer/editor should also have noticed these mistakes and made a retake to be edited at a later date; so the responsibility is not solely the narrators.
The audio quality is not very high definition either. Perhaps because it was produced many years ago for the tape market. (Did someone lose the master copies, perhaps?)
As I said; a wonderful book with a passionate narration, which is only marred by the narration which at times can stummble.
I enjoyed this book. The world of modern physics is plotted with thumbnails of key protagonists. At times I had to re-listen to sections as it crunched though ideas quickly, these are big ideas. I believe I shall return to hear this many times
A Briefer History of Time is popular science at its best. It tries not to be too technical or complex but even in its most basic form (without mathematical equations) the reader needs to read and re-read some of the theories to fully understand them; this is not a negative. The Big Bang, general theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, space travel and wormholes, the search for unified and quantum relativity theories are all explored with other explanations on why we exist and the nature of the universe and how it all began and how it might end. Quantum Mechanics amuses me because it introduces uncertainty!It is all fascinating stuff but the irony is that it is the unknown which makes astronomy and science all the more interesting. Will we ever know the theory of everything? I hope not.
I don't think I would get this book on audio book. I found the reading tempo annoying when I wanted to stop and give my brain time to ponder the concepts.
Probably not - I didn't like the narration style.
I really enjoyed the concepts discussed in the book but would have preferred it in written format I think. The narration style of the reader determines the pace of the text and with a book which has so many great points to consider, you really want time to pick them apart in your head.
Kildonan by the sea
The history of our understanding of how and what is our universe, the ideas of the past and the theories of our present, with explanations and analogies instead of equations or pure mathematics, explanations of our physical world, and its interaction with waves and particles and all the exotic phenomena of quantum mechanics and the quirkiness of quarks. Presented as the most delicious morsel.
No it will not turn you into and instant physicist or a mathematician, but it will give you a very clear and delineated idea of some of the concepts and theories that describe our universe and its components from the stellar bodies to the perceivable only by its influence.
“We find ourselves in a bewildering world. We want to make sense of what we see around us and to ask: What is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is?”
― Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
“... if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the 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 then we would know the mind of God.”
― Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
"This is Not a sequel - It's a minor re-write!"
I was disappointed in this audio book. For no reason other that is was not clear from the precis that is was a revision of the original "A Brief History of Time". I can't fault the material and the 5 minutes or so of audio were up to the usual standard. But it leaves a poor taste in my mouth to spend a audio book credit on an audiobook that I, essentially, already had. Well done on Stephen Hawking for making his material more accessable to a broader audience. But I understood enough of the original that I would never have felt the need to purchase both and I just wish it had been made more clear. If you have not read (or heard) ther original this is probably the version to get but if you have and you enjoyed it you won't get any more out of this updated release.
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