Originally published in 1992 to great acclaim, this updated edition traces the course of Hawking s life and science, successfully marrying biography and physics to tell the story of a remarkable man.
Stephen Hawking is no ordinary scientist. With a career that began over thirty years ago at Cambridge University, he has managed to do more than perhaps any other scientist to broaden our basic understanding of the universe. His theoretical work on black holes and his progress in advancing our knowledge of the origin and nature of the cosmos have been groundbreaking if not downright revolutionary.
Stephen Hawking has also spent much of his adult life confined to a wheelchair, a victim of ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disease. Clearly his physical limitations have done nothing to confine him intellectually. He simply never allowed his illness to hinder his scientific development. In fact, many would argue that his liberation from the routine chores of life has allowed him to focus his efforts more keenly on his science.
Hawking certainly would have been remarkable for his cutting edge work in theoretical physics alone. However, he has also managed to popularize science in a way unparalleled by other scientists of his stature. He became a household name, achieving almost cult-like fame, with the release of his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time. Although steeped in the potentially overwhelming complexities of cosmology, he succeeded in selling millions of copies to audiences eager to learn even some of what he has to offer.
Science writers White and Gribbin have skillfully painted a portrait of an indefatigable genius and a scientific mind that seemingly knows no bounds. Knitting together clear explanations of Hawking s science with a detailed personal history that is both balanced as well as sensitive, we come to know and appreciate both.
As Stephen Hawking s new book, The Universe in a Nutshell, hits the best-seller lists, it is the ideal time for readers to learn more about this remarkable man and his vast body of accomplishments.
National Research Council. Stephen Hawking: A Life in ScienceSecond Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2002.
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Named to Science Books & Films 2003 Best Books List
"...a very readable biography... in a sense it is two books in one: the man and his work."
-- The Planetarian, December 2002
"White and Gribbin's book provides enough scientific understanding to give readers the context in which to place the life of this fascinating person. ... This book is a pleasure to read; one will come away from it with a better understanding of both Steven Hawking and his life's work."
-- Science Books & Films
"Summing up: Highly recommended. General readers, lower-and upper-division undergraduates; professionals; two-year technical program students."
-- CHOICE, March 2003
"Telling and savvy...shows Hawking as a whole man, by turns both stubborn and lofty, both comical and remote."
-- Washington Post Book World
"Intriguing... There are larger questions here than the life even of this singular man... We are on the brink here of a [scientific] mystery as great as that of an extraordinary man whose mind and imagination have soared beyond the disabling confines of the flesh."
-- The Times
"A gripping account of a physicist whose speculations could prove as revolutionary as those of Albert Einstein... It's combination of erudition, warmth, robustness, and wit is entirely appropriate to their subject."
-- New Statesman & Society
"Immensely moving... totally gripping to read. Hawking's moral courage and strength, as well as his intellectual genius, illuminate this account of his life and achievements, which succeeds in communicating the scope and magnitude of this remarkable man's discoveries in the sphere of physics."
-- Daily Telegraph
"Fascinating... What makes this book so rewarding is the way that the authors have blended their account of Hawking's science with that of his life, giving a picture of a remarkable scientist as a remarkable person."
"A successful merger of biography and physics... As it traces the course of Hawking's life, it pauses occasionally to prepare the reader for the mind-boggling complexities of relativity theory and the even more bizarre notions of quantum physics... The exercise works."
-- Time Magazine