January 28, 2022

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80 years of Stephen Hawking: 8 books to enter into the thinking of the great astronomer

Scientist Stephen Hawking turns 80 on January 8th

On January 8, 1942, three hundred years had passed since his death Galileo, Born in Oxford Stephen Hawking. His parents lived in north London, but during the outbreak of World War II, the mother moved to Oxford to give birth to her son in safety.

At school, his classmates nicknamed him “Einstein”, and in his own words, “physics and astronomy gave us the confidence to understand where we came from and why we are here.” Hawking said “I wanted to penetrate the depths of the universe”.

Then Albert Einstein, The most famous scientist, and his research into the fields of cosmology, especially black holes and general relativity and quantum mechanics, took science one step further to understand the universe.

But still Stephen Hawking, Who died in March 2018, is not only a scientist, but also a celebrity. It was also his interest that those issues he read with interest should reach out to the whole world. “Mankind needs an intellectual challenge – he would say – to be God is boring and there is nothing to find”. That intellectual challenge activated him every time he published the book. Here are eight of them – very different, to show it as a fan – you should read to get to know this British physicist well.

A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to the Black Holes (1988)

This is the best classic Hawking And his first published scientific popularization text. Featured Introduction by Carl Sagan. It has sold over 10 million copies and has over 40 language editions. “Trying to achieve,” he says Jesus Avelino de la Pineda, From philosophy to analysis – a theory that fully explains the universe from its origin to its present state, from its present to its total future. Many years later, in 2005, he co-published Leonard Mlodinov He titled it with a new shorter version and less scientific language Very brief chronology.

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The Secret Key to the Universe (2012)

This is a strange book because he wrote it with his daughter Lucy. It’s an epic adventure through the cosmos: the biggest scientific experiment in history is about to take place, and George, Annie and Eric must save it. The first in a history that includes three more: The treasure of the universe (2009), The origin of the universe (2011) Unbreakable code (2014) Fiction, especially for children and young people, is a way to turn science into mass, popular discourse, available to all. Because that’s about it. What we do.

A Brief History of My Life (2013)

Another oddity: autobiography. This is not the least, life Hawking It has all the flavors of an incredible story. From London’s post-war childhood to international fame and celebrity. It’s also a story to deal with: a young husband and father struggling to make a dent in the world of physics despite being diagnosed with ALS.

Theory of All: The Origin and Destiny of the Universe (2002)

This book gives its name to the biopic film directed in 2014 James Marsh Based on the book Jane Wilde, First wife Hawking. This is an introduction to the history and structure of the universe, which goes back to the first theories of the Greek world and the more complex current theories of the Middle Ages.

The Grand Design (2010)

This is his last book – he co-wrote it with the professor Leonard Mlodinov– And, when it appeared on the market, it was soon classified as “controversial”. It points to the opposite of fate and the idea of ​​God, leading to science as someone who provides another interpretation.

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Short Answers to Big Questions (2018)

At the time of his death, Hawking was working on a final project: a book that would summarize the answers to the “big” questions he was frequently asked, which was beyond the realm of education. In these pages, he gives his personal perspective on our greatest challenges to the human race and, as a planet, where we are headed next. Each section is presented by a leading thinker who provides his own insight into Professor Hawking’s contribution to our understanding.

God Created Numbers (2005)

Stephen Hawking argues that if the wonders of the ancient world were physical, then the wonders of our time are works of knowledge. From internet commerce to aerospace, mathematics governs every aspect of our lives in the post-industrial era. On the other hand, both intellectual revolutions and our own perception of the world are the daughters of revolutions in mathematical thought. creations Carl Weirstrass, George Cantor, George Poole, Alan Turing, Kurt Codell And other great mathematicians Babylonian mathematicians first created the work of their predecessors, and they feed on new theories developed by contemporary researchers. Here the author presents 31 basic achievements of mathematical thought, from basic geometry to transfinite number theory.

The Universe in a Nutshell (2001)

In this book, Hawking takes us to the realms of theoretical physics – many times more than true fiction – in truly simple and sometimes very funny terms, explaining the principles that govern our universe. He inspires us to go with him on an immense journey through space-time, towards an incredibly wonderful world where particles, membranes and strings dance in eleven dimensions, black holes evaporate and take away their secret. The tiny nut that formed our universe – the original cosmic seed – lives on.

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