A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes - No Cost Library

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

A Brief History of Time pdf free download

   Author(s): Stephen W Hawking  
       Publisher: Bantam, Year: 1988       
                                    
 Description: 


Since Einstein Stephen Hawking has gained a reputation as the brilliantest theoretical physicist. In this landmark volume, Professor Hawking shares his blazing intellect with nonscientists everywhere, expertly guiding us to tackle the supreme questions of the nature of time and the universe. Was there a time beginning in there? Shall we finish? Is the world limitless, or does it have limits? From Galileo and Newton to contemporary astrophysics, from the incredibly large to the extremely thin, Professor Hawking takes us on an exhilarating journey into distant galaxies, black holes, overlapping dimensions — as close as man ever wagged God's mind. Stephen Hawking has altered our understanding of the world from the perspective of the wheelchair from which he lived, afflicted by Lou Gehrig's disease, for more than 20 years. A Brief History of Time, cogently explained and passionately revealed, is the story of the ultimate quest for knowledge: the ongoing search for the cozy secrets of time and space. 
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Book Review:

Hawking 's best-seller could equally well confer a title A Brief History of Modern Physics since only his chapter 9 is specifically devoted to the problem of the arrow of time, whereas the evolution of basic physical ideas, from the Copernican model to string theories, remains the key issue of the remaining ten chapters. The core area of the author's interest is black hole physics, inflationary worlds, and the quest for unification. The involvement of Hawking on both metaphysical and religious topics makes the books fascinating except for readers who do not require additional lectures on the theory of uncertainty and the basis of special relativity. The book has been prepared for the reader at large. Hawking reports that he \carnated a lot of "how to write in a way that is easier to understand" after writing the "quite unreadable" Large Scale Spacetime Structure (p. VII). As a result, he does not use any mathematical equations except the E = mc *, because each equation included in the book "would halve the sales".

Consistently, in order to counteract the by-side effects of the use of mathematics, the author uses "1 with sixty-six zeros after it" instead of "108 °" and then translates the latter into the language of "one million ..." years (p. 108). A positive outcome of these simplifications is that the general reader gets a scientifically stimulating overview of basic scientific ideas. When, Learn- ledge in general. A systemic widening of the divide between natural sciences and humanities, Hawking offers a commendable illustration of how the most complex scientific topics can be readily clarified and widely accepted. A very different problem is that the same statements the author has made appear to be quite obviously too simplistic and scarcely compatible with cither empirical evidence or prevailing philosophical opinions. In alluding to anticipations of his limitless conception of the cosmos, Hawking remarks: "The Copernican concept got rid of the celestial spheres of Ptolemy, and with them, the notion that the world has a natural boundary" (p. 5). Tr hardly seems to be accurate, if only one considers that the pioneering work of Copernicus already listed the spheres in its title (The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) and also in the 17th century, among the followers of the modern astronomy, the question of the heavenly spheres was still under debate. In certain ways, Hawking 's theory resembles the theory of early positivism. In the book, the author repeats his optimistic conjecture that present physics may be "close to the end of the search for the ultimate laws of nature" (p. 156), consistently, in the world where physics explains everything, the role of philosophy must be reduced to language analysis (p. 175).

 To justify this view, Hawking quotes Wittgenstein, calling him "the most famous philosopher of this century" (p. 175). Again, the question is that both the late Wittgenstein and his followers revised their earlier philosophy definition and accepted that this discipline can not necessarily be reduced to language analysis. Some statements appear to reveal the author's denial of scientific realism and his commitment to cognitive instrumentalism. For example, he calls the problem of whether our "real" time corresponds to the actual coordinates or to the imaginary ones "meanless." To justify this view, he argues that scientific theories do not describe reality but are merely useful mathematical models describing "only in our minds" regularities (p. £39). After such a strong statement, one is really amazed when two pages later Hawking presents modern cosmology as such a successful discipline in "describing events" and cosmic laws that there is no room for a creator or for theological explanations in his picture of the com-completely self-contained universe without a boundary (pp. 140f). 

Theological problems so often arise in the novel that Carl Sagan introduces the question of God's interference in the cosmos as the main topic in Hawking 's presentation in his /ntroduction. The meaning of the explanation is that "no edge of space, no beginning or end of time, and nothing to do with a Maker" exists (p. X). In related remarks, the metaphysical sense of this "no boundary theory" is misunderstood, since Hawking himself acknowledges that his conception of the world without the limit is nothing but a concept that can not be deduced from more abstract concepts (p. 136). The provocative theory focused on such merely conjectural propositions can not reliably be viewed as a scientific solution to classical theological questions. Unfortunately, the philosophical ideas made by Hawking appear to be on the same standard as millions of millions of mathematical notations. He discusses how God could create heavy stones, and asks who created God himself (p. 174). A God of the Edge is viewed as a complement to the Clarkean God to holes in his theological statements, which was intended to overcome the shortcomings of scientific theories. It was already Leibniz who attacked such a theology for its simplifying and naive aspects in his polemic with Clarke. 

Au essential deficiency of the book being reviewed is found not in its theory but in its cosmology presentation. Although Hawking often outlines debates and alternative solutions to the topics debated, he consistently avoids the twistor software of Penrose as well as his definition of time asymmetry and initial conditions. There are significant differences that arise from the fact that when Hawking proposes the path-integral method, Penrose refers to twistors. Twistors, which reflects a deeper dimension of truth than space-time frames, suggest a modern interpretive paradigm that is radically separate from the one that Hawking has embraced. Both nature 's vision, and philosophical! These approaches have essentially different ramifications. One can only regret that the author of The Brief History, who has already become a legendary figure in contemporary cosmology, prefers monologue rather than the opposition of ideas in the final part of his book. The development of awareness points out that monologs were primarily revered by political visionaries; science was created out of the innovative clashes of competing theories.

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