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Book Shortage

Chronicling my 2015 reads on this swanky new website.

The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking

The Universe in a Nutshell - Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is an intellectual icon and one of the most influential thinkers of our time. In his sequel The Universe in a Nutshell, he explores the cutting edge of theoretical physics and the principles that control our universe. Hawking is known not only for the intrepidity of his ideas but for the clarity and wit he uses to express them. He guides us on a search to uncover the secrets of the universe from quantum theory, to black holes and supergravity.


The Universe in a Nutshell

• Quantum mechanics
• M-theory
• General relativity
• 11-dimensional supergravity
• 10-dimensional membranes
• Superstrings
• P-branes
• Black holes


In the opening chapter, Hawking describes the history of physics and our conception of the universe citing Einstein's work as fundamental to our modern understanding. It is, to an extent simplified for the new reader, but not a dumbing-down of high-end theoretical physics, most of it is covered at a level that makes it difficult to comprehend in the first reading. Although you'd be hard-pressed finding a book that deals with these topics any clearer than this one. If you, like me have little to no background knowledge of the theories he discusses you might struggle through some of the more complex ones (like quantum theory) but if you're interested in the creation of the universe as a subject there are definitely parts of the book that you will enjoy.


The Universe in a Nutshell is the sequel to A Brief History of Time in which Hawking explores the history of cosmology and the advances in technology that have enabled us to understand micro and macrocosmic worlds.