A new way of defining a metre using speed of light is also developed. The new 4-dimensions is also described, how different the path is seen when one changes reference from 3D to 4D or from 3D to 2D. It is spacetime curvature , where light moves in a straight path in 4D but is seen as a curve in 3D. These straight line paths are geodesics.
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Share via Email Like spacetime itself, Stephen Hawking seemed to appear from nowhere and expand rapidly to fill the publishing universe. Within a year, he was almost certainly the most famous scientist since Albert Einstein and he had established a reputation everywhere in the English-speaking world as the last word on black holes and the making of the universe.
Since black holes had, in , only a hypothetical existence, and since the making of the universe was, and still is, a subject of pure speculation, it was an extraordinary achievement. The book sat in the bestseller lists for weeks and was translated into 40 languages. By , roughly one copy existed for every people on the planet.
Hawking had become a global cultural icon, turning up in an episode of Star Trek and several episodes of The Simpsons. This is not bad for somebody whose lasting contribution to science could be a thing called Hawking radiation and whose lasting contribution to publishing is known as the Hawking effect.
The first involves a piece of arcane quantum mechanical reasoning that can never be put to the test, because there is no way you could ever get a black hole into a laboratory.
The second is a widespread but as yet not convincingly confirmed proposition that if one science book on an inexplicable topic can become a worldwide bestseller, then surely others can. But part of the success must also lie in the timing.
Hawking was born in , and he came of age with the idea of the Big Bang. He entered the postgraduate world at the point where physicists began to agree that, yes, the universe must have had a beginning, and that space and time must have appeared from nothing in a burst of unimaginable energy and expanded to enclose a universe that contains, at the latest guess, bn galaxies, each home to bn stars and stretches for The next obvious question was: how did it happen?
And why did it happen in a way that produced a sentient life form capable of asking such a cosmic question, and then giving it a witty title such as A Brief History of Time? So is it the greatest science book ever?
The answer is "no". Science moves fast and all science books are out of date by the time they are published. Now cosmic scientists wrestle with different questions. Einstein once said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe was that it was comprehensible. Steven Weinberg, the author of a brilliant but much earlier history of time called The First Three Minutes, put the same thought another way: the more the universe seemed comprehensible, he said, the more it also seemed pointless.
There must be many people who have read - or attempted to read - only one science book, and that is A Brief History of Time".
A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking: the verdict
A Briefer History of Time