Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind

Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind

by Kitty Ferguson
Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind

Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind

by Kitty Ferguson


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Kitty Ferguson, the award-winning and international bestselling author of Stephen Hawking’s biography, presents an even deeper portrait of the legendary physicist’s life and scientific theories.

This updated edition of Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind looks at one of the most remarkable figures of our age: the bestselling author of A Brief History of Time, celebrated theoretical physicist, and an inspiration to millions around the world. Ferguson offers fresh insights into the way Hawking thinks and works, his ever-more-imaginative adventures in science at the “flaming ramparts of the world,” the discovery of gravity waves, the blockbuster proposal for “Starshot” to explore the cosmos, and his powerful use of his celebrity on behalf of human rights and survival on earth and beyond.

With rare access to Hawking, including childhood photos and in-depth research, Ferguson creates a rich and comprehensive picture of his life: his childhood; the heartbreaking ALS diagnosis when he was a first-year graduate student; his long personal battle for survival in pursuit of a scientific understanding of the universe; and his rise to international fame. She also uses her gift for translating the language of theoretical physics into the language of the rest of us to make Hawking’s scientific work accessible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250139368
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kitty Ferguson has been writing and lecturing about science and scientists for over two decades, making the language and concepts of physics and cosmology understandable for audiences without a scientific background. Her 1991 biography of Stephen Hawking, written with his encouragement and help, was an international best-seller. She was a consultant for Hawking's book The Universe in a Nutshell. Kitty is the author of several books including The Fire in the Equations and The Music of Pythagoras. She has also been interviewed by Forbes Magazine, PBS, "News Hour with Jim Lehrer," and the BBC. She lectures widely in North America, and her appearances have included the Goddard Space Flight Center, the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, The Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and many universities. Kitty and her husband divide their time between Cambridge, England and South Carolina.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Part I 1942-1975

1 "The Quest for a Theory of Everything" 2

2 "Our Goal Is Nothing Less Than a Complete Description of the Universe We Live In" 6

3 "Equal to Anything!" 20

4 "The Realization That I Had an Incurable Disease, That Was Likely to Kill Me in a Few Years, Was a Bit of a Shock" 33

5 "The Big Question Was, Was There a Beginning or Not?" 45

6 "There Is a Singularity in Our Past" 61

Part II 1970-1990

7 "These People Must Think We Are Used to an Astronomical Standard of Living" 76

8 "Scientists Usually Assume There Is a Unique Link between the Past and the Future, Cause and Effect. If Information Is Lost, This Link Does Not Exist" 89

9 "The Odds against a Universe That Has Produced Life Like Ours Are Immense" 102

10 "In All My Travels, I Have Not Managed to Fall Off the Edge of the World" 115

11 "It's Turtles All the Way Down" 134

12 "The Field of Baby Universes Is in Its Infancy" 146

Part III 1990-2000

13 "Is the End in Sight for Theoretical Physics?" 160

14 "Between Film Roles I Enjoy Solving Physics Problems" 172

15 "I Think We Have a Good Chance of Avoiding both Armageddon and a New Dark Age" 186

16 "It Seems Clear to Me" 196

Part IV 2000-2011

17 "An Expanding Horizon of Possibilities" 208

18 "Grandad Has Wheels" 221

19 "I've Always Gone in a Somewhat Different Direction" 235

20 "My Name Is Stephen Hawking: Physicist, Cosmologist and Something of a Dreamer" 249

Part V 2012-2016

21 "O Brave New World … That Has Such People in It!" 272

Glossary 297

Notes 302

Suggested Further Reading and Bibliography 317

Index 324

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