Book Review - A Brief History Of Time by Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking’s famous book, A Brief History of Time, is just as the title: brief. However, that might not be a bad thing depending on who you’re talking to. Hawking does a great job of introducing you to all the fundamental aspects of theoretical astrophysics so you can at least understand certain basic concepts behind black holes, the big bang, and even string theory. It is really a must read for most people so that they can gain a basic understanding of these fields.

That being said, if you have a background in STEM fields, you may be somewhat disappointed. Hawking glazes over the theories and doesn’t really explain any mathematical basis behind any of them to great detail. For someone in the STEM fields it would be really great to have a sort of in between from this book to hardcore papers and textbooks.

One last thing that I took away from the book. Hidden in the final few chapters, Stephen Hawking paints a picture of just how bad a person Isaac Newton was. Something I didn’t know, he essentially falsely accused Leibniz of plagiarism in the invention of Calculus and tried to write Flamsteed out of later versions of Principia because he felt Flamsteed slighted him. Most telling of all about Newton as written in A Brief History of Time: “Following the death of Leibniz, Newton is reported to have declared that he had taken great satisfaction in ‘breaking Leibniz’s heart’.”

Written on May 16, 2015