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The Universe in a Nutshell Audiobook

The Universe in a Nutshell

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Publisher's Summary

One of the most influential thinkers of our time, Stephen Hawking is an intellectual icon, known not only for the adventurousness of his ideas, but for the clarity and wit with which he expresses them. In this new work, Hawking brings us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, to explain in layman's terms the principles that control our universe.

Like many in the community of theoretical physics, Professor Hawking is seeking to uncover the grail of science - the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos. In his accessable and often playful style, he guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe - from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality. And he lets us behind the scenes of one of his most exciting intellectual adventures as he seeks "to combine Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman's idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe."

With characteristic exuberance, Professor Hawking invites us to be fellow travelers on this extraordinary voyage through spacetime. The Universe in a Nutshell is essential listening for all of us who want to understand the universe in which we live.

©2001 Stephen Hawking; (P)2001 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Hawking clearly possesses a natural teacher's gifts...and an ability to illustrate highly complex propositions with analogies plucked from daily life." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (804 )
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  •  
    Evie Little Rock, Arkansas 02-09-06
    Evie Little Rock, Arkansas 02-09-06 Listener Since 2006
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    "The Universe For Dummies"

    Dr. Hawkins did it right this time (no pun intended) with this book. If your eyes glazed over in an attempt to follow along and wrap your head around the physics theories in his first book, your are going to love this one. As he explains in the book's introduction, in the first book the chapters (or ideas) built upon each successive chapter. If you didn't understand after chapter two, you could not hope to understand chapter 3,4,5, etc. With this book, he builds the foundation in chapters 1 & 2. So if chapter 3 fizzes your gray matter, you can skip it because the remaining chapters stand on their own.

    If you are a space time junkie that is fascinated by space time and quantum mechanics you are in for a very special treat. This man's mind is as special as the theories he explains. This is a great book. Buy it.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian 05-02-15
    Ian 05-02-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Masterpiece"

    Hawking, one of the greatest minds of our time. This is a work of art.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Fairfax, VA, USA 02-07-05
    Adam Fairfax, VA, USA 02-07-05
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    "Educational and yet fun."

    I truly enjoyed this book. I love how as he speaks on a subject, Stephen throws in little tid-bits about his life (like where someone has sat in his chair at cambridge, or funny things about his daughter's birth).

    I imagine the science and math would be hard to follow for people not previously "in" on some of the lingo and concepts, but he seems to break it down well enough though.

    He repeats himself sometimes, I'm not sure if thats the reader making a mistake, or a typographical thing, but I noticed it more than once. Also, he reviews concepts he's already illustrated earlier, as if this book were written for students and under the assumtion only individual chapters will be read.

    I love how he gives credit, even to scientists that differ in opinion from him. He breaks down to the almost stupid level some concepts to help you understand why they will work, or not work. I also love how he dives into the risky waters of time travel and religion as he talks, and explains. I'm sure many out there will have arguements with his logic on a thing or two, but who can argue with his courage to discuss the previously undiscussable (well, outside of sci-fi).

    A great read, and it covers such a broad spectrum of space-science. I recommend it to anyone who craves to understand anything about the universe from black-holes to parallel dimensions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Rice Springfield, IL 10-16-16
    Randy Rice Springfield, IL 10-16-16
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    "Read it several times..."

    Great read. I've gone back through several times and have learned something each time I listen. The cadence of the reader is good, and there's a good emphasis on the British nationality of the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott D. 02-03-16
    Scott D. 02-03-16
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    "awesome, learned a lot"

    I just wanted to hear about some universe theory's and history. RELATIVELY great buy! In this string at least.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Sanjeet Joshi 08-30-15 Member Since 2016
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    "This book is better read as a physical book"

    Given the complexity of the subject matter this is not suitable for audio book. It was hard to comprehend while driving or doing other activities. it demands total concentration.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Nasu, Japan 02-10-14
    Scott Nasu, Japan 02-10-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Sorry, Stephen, I still don't get it"

    Maybe the printed version of this book has a lot of great diagrams that explain some of the really mind (and space?) bending concepts in this book, but unfortunately most of it was completely unfathomable to me in audiobook format. While I did pick up a few tidbits, I can't recommend this audiobook. If you're a Hawking/astrophysics fan, go for the printed version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 01-11-12
    Scott 01-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Understandable Physics"
    What made the experience of listening to The Universe in a Nutshell the most enjoyable?

    For someone with a very limited background in Physics I found I could grasp and be highly entertained by the material. If you are interested at all in AstroPhysics this is a must read. I will be leveraging this title as my foundation and will be looking for other titles to expand on the subject.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mirek Lodz, Poland 01-08-09
    Mirek Lodz, Poland 01-08-09 Member Since 2004
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    "I could be bounded in a nutshell"

    Stephen Hawking book "The Universe in a Nutshell" is a sequel to his famous "Brief History of Time" and brings to our attention some discoveries and findings in the theories of the universe that happened in almost 15 years since the first, book was published.
    I'm not going to review the scientific content of this popular book - there are so many good reviews, that it does not make any sense. However, I want to mention that, as always, Hawking is the great teacher and science advocate, and when he speaks of the most difficult concepts like p-branes, singularities or time travels.

    I want to stress some important things. It is admirable how he positions since in the framework of human knowledge. As a person who touches, in his research the great mysteries of the Universe, he had temptation to tend to religious, or, anti-religious interpretations of his research. However, with Stephen - it is not to happen. He says of himself as of positivist from the good school of Carl Popper.

    In the past I was also scientist, and I must say - this is the only approach to science we can have and preserve science objectivity and truth searching power!

    What is more important, if one is truly religious, he or she will find in Stephen Hawking thoughts, the deep confirmation of spiritual message we get from science - but it is not so simple and not straightforward, as many would expect.

    It is amazing when you read, close in time about sages of Kabalah and their thoughts on many worlds G-d COULD create, and suddenly you jump into Hawkings and read about "parallel worlds" of modern theory of Universe...

    The book is also great for the large dose of good humour. As for author suffering so much from incurable illness - this is just great and elevating ...

    I will finish my review, with incredible connection of the book to Shakespeare Hamlet:
    "O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself asking of infinite space..."

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Taoyuan HsienTaiwan 08-14-05
    David Taoyuan HsienTaiwan 08-14-05
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    "Bertrand Russell was Right."

    The English mathematician/philospher Bertrand Russell once claimed that popular books on relativity become unintelligible just when they begin to discuss something of real substance. One cannot help feeling that this is once again the case with Stephen Hawking's audiobook. I bought this book and I have been moving the narrator "back in forth in time" with my replay button, listening and relistening to what Hawking writes. The naration is outstanding. However, the organization seems higgly-piggly. We are given tastes of general relativity, particle spins, string theory, multiple quantum histories, black holes, etc. But,there is never any pause to fully explicate what is going on. I for one would prefer listening to Professor Hawking tell us how he visualizes the electro-magnetic field, as well as how light propagates within it. What is the difference between an electron (which is intimately tied up with electricity) and a photon of light (which is apparently created by undulations in the electro-magnetic field)? I wish Audible would offer audiobooks by Paul Davies. Professor Davies is somewhat more experienced at explaining things to us students in the back of the class. Then again, perhaps that's the nature of books which give us the universe in a nutshell. The nut is too hard to crack.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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