A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time

About the Author-

A Brief History of Time author Stephen William Hawking  (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the Uniersity of Cambridge.  He was the Lucasian Professor of Maths at the University of Cambridge 1979 – 2009.

Hawking achieved viable accomplishment with numerous works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology. His book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a receiver of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the uppermost civilian award in the United States. In 2002, Hawking was ranked 25 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

In 1963, he was diagnosed with an early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neuron disease that gradually paralyzed him over the decades.  He died on 14 March 2018 at the age of 76, as he was living with the disease for more than 50 years.

A Brief History of Time Summary-

In A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking tries to answer few fundamental questions that non-scientists have about the universe. For example, how did it originate, how will it end, how is it controlled, and is it finite or infinite? To correspond how modern scientists answer these questions, Hawking uses two fundamental theories: general relativity and quantum mechanics. General relativity is Albert Einstein’s theory, concerning innovative ideas of space, time, matter, and gravity that enabled him and others to intensify their perceptive of the large-scale formation of the universe. Quantum mechanics, developed by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg and others, enabled scientists to understand mystifying phenomena at the subatomic level. Like all theories, relativity and quantum mechanics are provisional. They are not even dependable with each other.

From Big Bang to Black Holes

Nevertheless, they outmoded the model of matter and the universe that had been formulated by Sir Isaac Newton. Hawking points out that expansion of universe is evident in the behavior of light, as it travels great distances from stars in other galaxies to Earth. Based on the idea that black holes do not mechanically absorb everything that comes near them but may hold light trapped at their very edges, Hawking began a new line of thinking about their behavior. He found that light forms an event horizon at the edge of a black hole, trapping the light in its gravitational field, from which it does not escape. However, radiation emitted from a black hole indicates that its gravity is not as absolute as previously thought. The final chapter of A Brief History of Time brings collectively the wide range of speculations people have had on the nature of being, where life comes from, and where it is all heading in the future.


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