A Briefer History of Time

Stephen William Hawking

A Briefer History of Time



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Over the course of time, countless scholars have contributed to our knowledge of the cosmos, which led us from the Aristotelian universe, where the Earth was the fulcrum around which the stars and planets revolved, to the Friedmann model, in which the pre-Big Bang universe is compressed into a single point of zero size. A Briefer History of Time: From The Big Bang to Black Holes is a fascinating dive into the secrets of the cosmos and, perhaps most astonishingly of all, is written in such a way as to make the fundamental discoveries that have shaped our knowledge easy for anyone to understand, even the absolute beginner.

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Analysis and key concepts


Discoveries in the field of physics, which were made possible thanks to new technologies, have brought us closer to understanding the nature of the universe, although it cannot be completely explained by general relativity and quantum mechanics: physicists are still searching for a new theory capable of combining them


Motion, space, and time are conditions that we think we understand through direct experience, but which we actually only perceive superficially: in order to comprehend these concepts, we must look at them in terms of their relationship with each other


In the space-time of relativity, every event, meaning whatever happens at a particular point in space and at a particular instant in time, can be specified by four numbers or coordinates


In the theory of general relativity, there is no single absolute time; each individual has their own personal measure of time, which depends on where they are, and how they are moving. What’s more, the passage of time is slower near a high-mass body, such as the Earth


If each star were a grain of salt, a teaspoon would be enough to collect all the stars visible to the naked eye but, in order to collect all the stars that exist, we would need a bowl measuring over 12 kilometres in diameter


From Fridman to Guth, the search for a theory capable of explaining the current universe has led scientists to identify the ‘zero time moment’, which preceded the Big Bang




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Find out about the history of the great discoveries surrounding the nature of the cosmos.
  • Understand the nature of time, according to the law of general relativity.
  • Learn about concepts, such as electromagnetism and space-time.

Stephen William Hawking was an astrophysicist, cosmologist, and mathematician, and devoted his entire life to researching and popularising science. He was born in Oxford on the 8th of January 1942 and died in Cambridge on the 14th of March 2018; incredibly fitting dates for such a great scientist, since he was born on the same day as Galileo Galilei, and died on the same day as Albert Einstein. He is known to the general public for his research on cosmology and quantum gravity, and for popularising science through his writing, with the aim of making it easy for anyone and everyone to discover the mysteries of the cosmos.

Publishing house:

Bantam Press