The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe

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Overview

Based on a series of lectures given at Cambridge University, Professor Hawking's work introduced "the history of ideas about the universe" as well as today's most important scientific theories about time, space, and the cosmos in a clear, easy-to-understand way. "The Theory of Everything" presents the most complex theories, both past and present, of physics; yet it remains clear and accessible. It will enlighten readers and expose them to the rich history of scientific thought and the comlixities of the universe in which we live.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
These seven lectures, given at Cambridge University, are pure Hawking. Each lecture takes a particular topic, such as black holes and the direction of time, and explains it in the clearest manner possible. In addition to the print version, the lectures are available (in Hawking's own "voice") in both audio and CD format.
From The Critics
Originally published in 1996, these seven lectures describe the history of the universe. Along the way, Hawking (mathematics, Cambridge University) explains previous ideas about the universe, describes the nature of black holes, and presents a theory of space- time. He also poses the questions still unanswered by physics, and especially considers the problems with synthesizing existing, partial theories into a unified, totalizing theory. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Sameet Shah
I always wondered as a child what's happening up there: Why are there so many stars that are so many light years away and why weren't there any next to us? Based on his lectures at Cambridge University, the author introduces "the history of ideas about the universe" as well as today's most important scientific theories about time, space and the cosmos in a easy-to-understand way. This book is by far the best scientific literary piece available that delineates every major theory ever proposed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597775083
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Edition description: Special Anniversary Edition
  • Pages: 136
  • Product dimensions: 6.86 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Hawking

Professor Stephen Hawking, a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, is the pre-eminent theoretical physicist in the world. His book "A Brief History of Time" was a phenomenal worldwide bestseller. He has twelve honorary degrees and was awarded the CBE and was made a Companion of Honour. He has three children and one grandchild. Visit him at www.hawking.org.uk.

Michael York is Principal Lecturer, Sophia Centre for the Study of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, and Director of the Bath Archive for Contemporary Religious Affairs, Bath Spa University College, UK.

Biography

In the universe as a whole, the nature of black holes may be one of the most puzzling mysteries. No less puzzling, in the slightly smaller universe of book publishing, is the astounding popular success of Stephen Hawking's 1988 book on the matter, or anti-matter, as it were: A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes.

Clocking in at just over 200 pages, it was, indeed, brief, but it was hardly the easy read its marketers promised. Nor did it stray much beyond the tone of a scholarly lecture, though at times it did take quick autobiographical peeks into Hawking's personal life. Still, it is just the author's persona that may have been the selling point prompting more than 10 million people worldwide to pick up a copy -- and to have it translated into more than 40 languages in the 10 years since its release.

For Stephen Hawking is an instantly recognizable public figure -- even for those who haven't delved into his so far unprovable theories about black holes. Stricken by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- or Lou Gehrig's disease, as it is called in the States -- while he was working toward his doctorate at Cambridge University, this Englishman is known for the keen wit and intellect that reside within his severely disabled body. He uses a motorized wheelchair to get around and a voice synthesizer to communicate -- a development, he complains, that has given him an American accent. He has guest-starred, in cartoon form, on an episode of The Simpsons and has appeared in the flesh on Star Trek: The Next Generation, using the benefits of time travel to play poker with Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. (He has said he doesn't believe in the theory himself, noting that the most powerful evidence of its impossibility is the present-day dearth of time-traveling tourists from the future.)

The son of a research biologist, Hawking resisted familial urging that he major in biology and instead studied physics and chemistry -- as a nod to his father -- when he went to Oxford University as a 17-year-old. In academic writing, Hawking had an extensive career pre-History, starting with The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, coauthored with G.F.R. Ellis in 1973. But in the late 1980s, faced with the expenses incurred by his illness, he took up Bantam Books' offer to explain the mysteries of the universe to the lay public.

"This is one of the best books for laymen on this subject that has appeared in recent years," The Christian Science Monitor wrote in 1988. "Hawking is one of the greatest theoretical cosmologists of our time. He is greater, by consensus among his colleagues, than other expert authors who have written good popular books on the subject recently. And he is greater, by far, than the ‘experts' who have ‘explained' quantum physics and cosmology in terms that support a religious agenda." And The New York Times in April 1988 said, "Through his cerebral journeys, Mr. Hawking is bravely taking some of the first, though tentative, steps toward quantizing the early universe, and he offers us a provocative glimpse of the work in progress."

Since then, A Brief History of Time has been republished in an illustrated edition (1996) and as an updated and expanded 10th anniversary edition (1998). In Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, a collection of 13 essays and the transcript of an extended interview with the BBC, Hawking turned more autobiographical, mixing stories about his studies in college and the beginning of his awareness that he had ALS with thoughts on how black holes can spawn baby universes and on the scientific community's efforts to create a unified theory that will explain everything in the universe. And in The Universe in a Nutshell, his sequel to A Brief History of Time, Hawking takes the same approach as he did in his first bestseller, explaining to the lay reader such ideas as the superstring theory, supergravity, time travel, and quantum theory.

A common current in Hawking's writing -- aside from his grasp of the complexities of the universe -- is a sharp wit. In one of the rare personal reflections in A Brief History of Time, he said he began thinking about black holes in the early 1970s in the evenings as he was getting ready for bed: "My disability makes this rather a slow process, so I had plenty of time." In life, he has a reputation for quickly turning his wheelchair away of a conversation that displeases him, even running his wheels over the toes of the offending conversant.

Even questions about his muse are likely to draw an answer tinged with pointed humor. When Time asked Hawking why he decided to add explaining the universe to a schedule already taxed by his scholarly writing and lecture tours, he answered, "I have to pay for my nurses."

Good To Know

Hawking worked 1,000 hours in his three years at Oxford, roughly an hour a day. "I'm not proud of this lack of work," he said in Stephen Hawking's a Brief History of Time: A Reader's Companion. "I'm just describing my attitude at the time, which I shared with most of my fellow students: an attitude of complete boredom and feeling that nothing was worth making an effort for."

Despite his science degrees, Hawking has no formal training in math and has said he had to pick up what he knows as he went along.

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    1. Hometown:
      Cambridge, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 8, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Oxford, England

Read an Excerpt

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
The Origin and Fate of the Universe


By Stephen W. Hawking

NEW MILLENNIUM PRESS

Copyright © 2002 New Millennium Press.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 1893224546



Chapter One


As long ago as 340 B.C. Aristotle, in his book On the Heavens, was able to put forward two good arguments for believing that the Earth was a round ball rather than a flat plate. First, he realized that eclipses of the moon were caused by the Earth coming between the sun and the moon. The Earth's shadow on the moon was always round, which would be true only if the Earth was spherical. If the Earth had been a flat disk, the shadow would have been elongated and elliptical, unless the eclipse always occurred at a time when the sun was directly above the center of the disk.

    Second, the Greeks knew from their travels that the Pole Star appeared lower in the sky when viewed in the south than it did in more northerly regions. From the difference in the apparent position of the Pole Star in Egypt and Greece, Aristotle even quoted an estimate that the distance around the Earth was four hundred thousand stadia. It is not known exactly what length a stadium was, but it may have been about two hundred yards. This would make Aristotle's estimate about twice the currently accepted figure.

    The Greeks even had a third argument that the Earth must be round, for why else does one first see the sails of a ship coming over the horizon and only later see the hull? Aristotle thought that the Earth was stationary and that the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars moved in circular orbits about the Earth. He believed this because he felt, for mystical reasons, that the Earth was the center of the universe and that circular motion was the most perfect.

    This idea was elaborated by Ptolemy in the first century A.D. into a complete cosmological model. The Earth stood at the center, surrounded by eight spheres, which carried the moon, the sun, the stars, and the five planets known at the time: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The planets themselves moved on smaller circles attached to their respective spheres in order to account for their rather complicated observed paths in the sky. The outermost sphere carried the so-called fixed stars, which always stay in the same positions relative to each other but which rotate together across the sky. What lay beyond the last sphere was never made very clear, but it certainly was not part of mankind's observable universe.

    Ptolemy's model provided a reasonably accurate system for predicting the positions of heavenly bodies in the sky. But in order to predict these positions correctly, Ptolemy had to make an assumption that the moon followed a path that sometimes brought it twice as close to the Earth as at other times. And that meant that the moon had sometimes to appear twice as big as it usually does. Ptolemy was aware of this flaw but nevertheless his model was generally, although not universally, accepted. It was adopted by the Christian church as the picture of the universe that was in accordance with Scripture. It had the great advantage that it left lots of room outside the sphere of fixed stars for heaven and hell.

    A much simpler model, however, was proposed in 1514 by a Polish priest, Nicholas Copernicus. At first, for fear of being accused of heresy, Copernicus published his model anonymously. His idea was that the sun was stationary at the center and that the Earth and the planets moved in circular orbits around the sun. Sadly for Copernicus, nearly a century passed before this idea was to be taken seriously. Then two astronomers—the German, Johannes Kepler, and the Italian, Galileo Galilei—started publicly to support the Copernican theory, despite the fact that the orbits it predicted did not quite match the ones observed. The death of the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic theory came in 1609. In that year Galileo started observing the night sky with a telescope, which had just been invented.

    When he looked at the planet Jupiter, Galileo found that it was accompanied by several small satellites, or moons, which orbited around it. This implied that everything did not have to orbit directly around the Earth as Aristotle and Ptolemy had thought. It was, of course, still possible to believe that the Earth was stationary at the center of the universe, but that the moons of Jupiter moved on extremely complicated paths around the Earth, giving the appearance that they orbited Jupiter. However, Copernicus's theory was much simpler.

    At the same time, Kepler had modified Copernicus's theory, suggesting that the planets moved not in circles, but in ellipses. The predictions now finally matched the observations. As far as Kepler was concerned, elliptical orbits were merely an ad hoc hypothesis—and a rather repugnant one at that because ellipses were clearly less perfect than circles. Having discovered, almost by accident, that elliptical orbits fitted the observations well, he could not reconcile with his idea that the planets were made to orbit the sun by magnetic forces.

    An explanation was provided only much later, in 1687, when Newton published his Principia Mathematica Naturalis Causae. This was probably the most important single work ever published in the physical sciences. In it, Newton not only put forward a theory of how bodies moved in space and time, but he also developed the mathematics needed to analyze those motions. In addition, Newton postulated a law of universal gravitation. This said that each body in the universe was attracted toward every other body by a force which was stronger the more massive the bodies and the closer they were to each other. It was the same force which caused objects to fall to the ground. The story that Newton was hit on the head by an apple is almost certainly apocryphal. All Newton himself ever said was that the idea of gravity came to him as he sat in a contemplative mood, and was occasioned by the fall of an apple.

    Newton went on to show that, according to his law, gravity causes the moon to move in an elliptical orbit around the Earth and causes the Earth and the planets to follow elliptical paths around the sun. The Copernican model got rid of Ptolemy's celestial spheres, and with them the idea that the universe had a natural boundary. The fixed stars did not appear to change their relative positions as the Earth went around the sun. It therefore became natural to suppose that the fixed stars were objects like our sun but much farther away. This raised a problem. Newton realized that, according to his theory of gravity, the stars should attract each other; so, it seemed they could not remain essentially motionless. Would they not all fall together at some point?

    In a letter in 1691 to Richard Bentley, another leading thinker of his day, Newton argued that this would indeed happen if there were only a finite number of stars. But he reasoned that if, on the other hand, there were an infinite number of stars distributed more or less uniformly over infinite space, this would not happen because there would not be any central point for them to fall to. This argument is an instance of the pitfalls that one can encounter when one talks about infinity.

    In an infinite universe, every point can be regarded as the center because every point has an infinite number of stars on each side of it. The correct approach, it was realized only much later, is to consider the finite situation in which the stars all fall in on each other. One then asks how things change if one adds more stars roughly uniformly distributed outside this region. According to Newton's law, the extra stars would make no difference at all to the original ones, and so the stars would fall in just as fast. We can add as many stars as we like, but they will still always collapse in on themselves. We now know it is impossible to have an infinite static model of the universe in which gravity is always attractive.

    It is an interesting reflection on the general climate of thought before the twentieth century that no one had suggested that the universe was expanding or contracting. It was generally accepted that either the universe had existed forever in an unchanging state or that it had been created at a finite time in the past, more or less as we observe it today. In part, this may have been due to people's tendency to believe in eternal truths as well as the comfort they found in the thought that even though they may grow old and die, the universe is unchanging.

    Even those who realized that Newton's theory of gravity showed that the universe could not be static did not think to suggest that it might be expanding. Instead, they attempted to modify the theory by making the gravitational force repulsive at very large distances. This did not significantly affect their predictions of the motions of the planets. But it would allow an infinite distribution of stars to remain in equilibrium, with the attractive forces between nearby stars being balanced by the repulsive forces from those that were farther away.

    However, we now believe such an equilibrium would be unstable. If the stars in some region got only slightly near each other, the attractive forces between them would become stronger and would dominate over the repulsive forces. This would mean that the stars would continue to fall toward each other. On the other hand, if the stars got a bit farther away from each other, the repulsive forces would dominate and drive them farther apart.

    Another objection to an infinite static universe is normally ascribed to the German philosopher Heinrich Olbers. In fact, various contemporaries of Newton had raised the problem, and the Olbers article of 1823 was not even the first to contain plausible arguments on this subject. It was, however, the first to be widely noted. The difficulty is that in an infinite static universe nearly every line or side would end on the surface of a star. Thus one would expect that the whole sky would be as bright as the sun, even at night. Olbers's counterargument was that the light from distant stars would be dimmed by absorption by intervening matter. However, if that happened, the intervening matter would eventually heat up until it glowed as brightly as the stars.

    The only way of avoiding the conclusion that the whole of the night sky should be as bright as the surface of the sun would be if the stars had not been shining forever, but had turned on at some finite time in the past. In that case, the absorbing matter might not have heated up yet, or the light from distant stars might not yet have reached us. And that brings us to the question of what could have caused the stars to have turned on in the first place.



The beginning of the universe had, of course, been discussed for a long time. According to a number of early cosmologies in the Jewish/ Christian/Muslim tradition, the universe started at a finite and not very distant time in the past. One argument for such a beginning was the feeling that it was necessary to have a first cause to explain the existence of the universe.

    Another argument was put forward by St. Augustine in his book, The City of God. He pointed out that civilization is progressing, and we remember who performed this deed or developed that technique. Thus man, and so also perhaps the universe, could not have been around all that long. For otherwise we would have already progressed more than we have.

    St. Augustine accepted a date of about 5000 B.C. for the creation of the universe according to the book of Genesis. It is interesting that this is not so far from the end of the last Ice Age, about 10,000 B.C., which is when civilization really began. Aristotle and most of the other Greek philosophers, on the other hand, did not like the idea of a creation because it made too much of divine intervention. They believed, therefore, that the human race and the world around it had existed, and would exist, forever. They had already considered the argument about progress, described earlier, and answered it by saying that there had been periodic floods or other disasters that repeatedly set the human race right back to the beginning of civilization.

    When most people believed in an essentially static and unchanging universe, the question of whether of not it had a beginning was really one of metaphysics or theology. One could account for what was observed either way. Either the universe had existed forever, of it was set in motion at some finite time in such a manner as to look as though it had existed forever. But in 1929, Edwin Hubble made the landmark observation that wherever you look, distant stars are moving rapidly away from us. In other words, the universe is expanding. This means that at earlier times objects would have been closer together. In fact, it seemed that there was a time about ten or twenty thousand million years ago when they were all at exactly the same place.

    This discovery finally brought the question of the beginning of the universe into the realm of science. Hubble's observations suggested that there was a time called the big bang when the universe was infinitesimally small and, therefore, infinitely dense. If there were events earlier than this time, then they could not affect what happens at the present time. Their existence can be ignored because it would have no observational consequences.

    One may say that time had a beginning at the big bang, in the sense that earlier times simply could not be defined. It should be emphasized that this beginning in time is very different from those that had been considered previously. In an unchanging universe, a beginning in time is...

(Continues...)


Excerpted from THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING by Stephen W. Hawking. Copyright © 2002 by New Millennium Press. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Lecture 1 Ideas About the Universe 1
Lecture 2 The Expanding Universe 17
Lecture 3 Black Holes 43
Lecture 4 Black Holes Ain't So Black 71
Lecture 5 The Origin and Fate of the Universe 95
Lecture 6 The Direction of Time 127
Lecture 7 The Theory of Everything 145
Index 169
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2005

    IMPORTANT NOTE

    It has come to our attention that the book 'The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe' has been published. Professor Hawking would like to make it clear that he HAS NOT endorsed this book. The text was written by him many years ago, however the material has already been published in books such as 'A Brief History of Time'. A complaint was made to the Federal Trade Commission in the US in the hope that they would prevent the publication. **We would urge you NOT to purchase this book in the belief that Professor Hawking was involved in its creation. From Professor Stephen Hawking's website.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2002

    Not very different from 'Brief History of Time'

    In fact 'The Theory of Everything' is 'Brief Historty of Time' in disguise. Those who have studied abovementioned book and previous one, that is 'The Universe in a Nutshell' will certainly feel that Hawking hasn't gone further from 'Brief History of Time'(because the real science is same). I therefore suggest an ammendment in the title, it should be 'The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe - Brief History of Time Rewritten.' That is all from my side

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2011

    Great book!

    I see no problem with the photos, not all books have the zoom option & the book is as good as I'd imagined it would be.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Don't buy this as a Nook book.

    You can't zoom in on the pictures. I'm sure they are great photos, but I can't really see them or the captions.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2007

    A great jumping off point into theoretical physics.

    The Theory of Everything: The Origins and Fate of the Universe by Stephen Hawking is a compilation of lectures (seven to be precise) written by Stephen Hawking and covers topics such as black holes - a large focus in Hawking's work and study - as well as speculation on the origin of the universe. As the previous reviewer noted, the publication of this book was executed without prior approval of Hawking, however all of the material included in the book is in fact original text by Hawking that has appeared in other publications by Hawking. As such, one should not be discouraged by this as the work is credited to Hawking and all original material. The book begins with a lecture titled 'Ideas About the Universe' in which Hawking provides a synopsis on, as the title implies, ideas about the universe. He takes a historical approach by discussing the ideas and opinions regarding the cosmos held by people as far back as Aristotle right up to the present day realities provided by astronomers such as Edwin Hubble. The lectures are arranged in a logical order so that the book flows from past notions to present beliefs in order to show the evolution of ideas because of rapidly improving technologies and advances in sciences. Of course, no modern theoretical physics text would be complete without a background of Einstein's Special and General Theories of Relativity as well as Quantum Mechanics pioneered by men such as Heisenberg and Planck. Equipped with the basics of these star players in the grand game of cosmology, Hawking discusses in two of his lectures his difficulties in describing, both conceptually and mathematically, the nature of black holes. He also provides a few current speculations as to how the universe originated and what potential fates could result from the different beginnings. Whether or not the universe began from a singularity in the case of the Big Bang, or the universe simply always has been in existence (a rather Zen approach to the problem), Hawking is unsure. One suggestion he makes, which struck me as odd but still plausible, is his 'No-Boundary' idea. Much like the surface of a sphere, which has a finite surface area yet no abrupt 'end' or 'boundary,' so too could the universe behave in such a manner. This certainly relieves the daunting idea of an infinite universe which is hard for many, including myself, to accept. The book as a whole requires no prerequisite knowledge of physics by any means. Hawking writes in such a way that theoretical physics becomes accessible to the layperson. He begins the book with a ground-up approach to allow the reader to become familiar with basic concepts in theoretical physics and then continues to elaborate and build on each concept as they are presented in a neat, logical order. As is common in Hawking's writing, the text is strewn with humorous comments on politics and his disability where he can work them in. While they do not dominate the overall tone of his writing, it provides a good laugh or two so the text does not become entirely dry. One last warning to make in my review is that while Hawking tries to maintain a strictly scientific approach to the nature of the text, he is forced to consider the inevitable concept of a god in relation to the origins and fate of the universe. While he does not advocate any particular religion, it is near impossible to tackle a concept as large as the origin of the universe without at least considering some omnipresent force involved in creation. In short, this book goes highly recommended by me for those wanting an introductory text to theoretical physics and cosmology, or even those needing a refresher on the evolution and present beliefs within these fields of study.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Brilliance

    With the way you write, I can understand your lack of comprehension. Fine, you don't understand it, just say so. But your juvenile rant is not at all helpful. Why do you consider it a bad book? "This book sucks" is not a review. What, you expect everyone just to take your incredibly ignorant word for it? And what is the deal with making fun of professor Hawking's handicap? He happens to have one of the most brilliant minds in the world, which is all that counts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2004

    Cashing in on good books

    Stephen Hawking masterly presents a lucid exposition of the twentieth century science. The foundations of this science were laid before World War II in the works of Einstein, Heisenberg, Plank and Bohr, i.e. well before the era of computers, spacecraft explorations and chaos theory. Hawking skillfully builds on these old foundations in his Illustrated Theory of Everything. Nevertheless puzzling observations pile in my e-mail from e-zines that report current space research. The galaxies and heavy elements found at the outskirts of the accessible universe, the association of quasars with common galaxies and the heaviest stars seen dancing very close to each other, all these are only few examples of the increasing number of perplexing discoveries. The growing pile of poorly understood observations requires reconsideration of the old groundwork of modern science. Otherwise we will sink in swamps of paradoxes, complexities and misunderstandings. If you want to impress and confuse your friends and teachers with some really new basic ideas and far reaching implications, then you should read also Eugene Savov¿s Theory of Interaction the Simplest Explanation of Everything. In this thrilling book a well argued and supported with many baffling observations new picture of the universe is drawn. The revealed astonishing picture will become more actual after each surprising discovery in the macro and micro cosmos. I highly recommend these two books to everyone who wants to become a classroom or coffee table highbrow hero.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2003

    awesome

    I thought that Stephen Hawking is a very intelligent person. Reading his book let me understand the way the universe works. Just what I was looking for.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2012

    Not exactly sure why i'm forced to remark about this book.

    Not exactly sure why i'm forced to remark about this book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2011

    Surprised

    I found it to be in depth and understandable, but lecture #6's argument to be less than convincing.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    Interesting

    I enjoyed this book as well as his previous book. I know Iwill never be at the same math understanding as Steven, but the theories are interesting to ponder.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    NOT a good purchase!!!!!! Serious problems here!!!!!!!!!!! I purchased the audio CD version and after 5 tries I still did not have a copy that played to finish, I asked for my money back and received it.

    The Theory of Everything; The Origin and Fate of the Universe.
    Claimed to be first published under title "The Cambridge Lectures: Life Works," excellently read by Michael York pretentious voice (at least what I have gotten to listen to so far), but not claimed by Stephen W. Hawking, who holds the Newton's chair of Lucasian Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Cambridge University. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "A Brief History of Time" and "The Universe in a Nutshell." Professor Hawking would like to make it clear that he HAS NOT endorsed this book. The text was written by him many years ago, however the material has already been published. I would urge you NOT to purchase this book in the belief that Professor Hawking was involved in its creation. From Professor Stephen Hawking's website http://www.hawking.org.uk/ you can read many of his lectures.
    Professor Hawking's Cambridge Lectures, as best as I could tell are:
    Lecture 1 "Ideas about the Universe" past ideas about a static universe;
    Lecture 2 "The Expanding Universe" how Newtonian and Einstein's theory leads to an expanding universe;
    Lecture 3 "Black holes" ;
    Lecture 4 how quantum mechanics allows energy to leak out of black holes;
    Lecture 5 quantum physics applied to the big bang, origin, and boundary of the universe
    Lecture 6 How the boundary proposal explains how the past is so different from the future
    Lecture 7 unified theory.
    He places the beginning of time about 10 or 20 thousand million years ago, The Big Bang, since earlier events could not affect the current timeline, also known to be expanding because of the red shifted light of all galaxies, due to Doppler Effect, expansion predicted by Freidman and red-shift observed by Hubble. Antigravity, proposed by Einstein to make a static universe fit into his general theory has been somewhat defeated by Freidman's expanding universe, using Einstein's general theory. Whimpering, I hope antigravity does not fall only into the realm of sci-fi.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2004

    A very good book about one fast aging science

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Anyway the incompleteness of the drawn picture of the universe left me with some disappointment. There is one existing and unique way to make the picture of the universe complete and you may find it in Eugene Savov's theory of interaction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2010

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    Posted December 8, 2009

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    Posted October 30, 2011

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    Posted September 27, 2013

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    Posted January 17, 2012

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