Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ another book by Stephen Hawking

Nope, I didn't cover it all when I wrote about his death on Thursday.  First, I found another of his books on my shelf.  It's one I bought but haven't yet read.
Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays ~ by Stephen Hawking, 1993
Covering subjects ranging from the personal to the wholly scientific, this is a collection of his essays and other pieces, revealing Stephen Hawking as a scientist, a man, a concerned world citizen, and an imaginative thinker.  He recalls his first experience of nursery school, punctures the arrogance of those who think science can best be understood only by other scientists, explores the origins and the future of the universe, and reflects on the phenomenon of his bestselling book, A Brief History of Time.  It's a collection of pieces he wrote between 1976 to 1992.  The photo above shows him in 1989.
Second, I want to point to an article suggesting that Hawking departed this world on "the most relevant day of the year."  Not only is March 14th called Pi Day (actually, the 30th anniversary of celebrating that day worldwide), but it's also Einstein's birthday.  What a great sense of humor this mathematician had, huh?  Even on the day he died.
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Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I admired the amazing workings of his brain. I hope there are other wonderful thinkers out there who have been inspired by his example and who will lead on the path he started.

Helen's Book Blog said...

I haven't read any of Stephen Hawking's books, but I liked the movie about him very much. I am too intimidated by physics :-)

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Oh, no, no, no, Helen! A Brief History of Time (1988) was written especially for lay people like you and me. It was very accessible ... and fascinating! One of his editors for that book ...

"took his job very seriously and made me rewrite the book to make it understandable to nonscientists like himself. Each time I sent him a rewritten chapter, he sent back a long list of objections and questions he wanted me to clarify. At times I thought the process would never end. But he was right. It is a much better book as a result."

That's from pages 34-35 of this latest book I'm about to read: Black Holes and Baby Universes. The book is made up of essays, and this quote is from "A Brief History of A Brief History."

Have you ever heard of "black holes"? The concept, he says, goes back more than two hundred years, but the name "black holes" was introduced only in in 1967. Having a name for the concept ...

"stimulated scientific research by providing a definite name for something that previously had not had a satisfactory title. The importance in science of a good name should not be underestimated" (pages 116-117).

See how easy it is to read? I dipped more or less randomly into the book, and we've learned a couple of new things. Hawking is an excellent writer ... WAS an excellent writer. If you can get a copy of this book, maybe from the library, read a single chapter. Then, having read something by Stephen Hawking, you can join me in enjoying books like this one from Michio Kaku that I wrote about nine years ago: