I was in class 11 when I read Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” for the first time. I was studying in a Cadet College back then. This special military school system compels you to turn off the lights in your dormitories at 10:45 PM. I started the book at 10:30 PM. I was so hooked that I stayed up reading it till 2 AM that night sitting at the window where a little light from the corridor sneaked in.
As cliche as it may sound, I never looked at the physical universe through the same eyes again.
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When people come across a book like “A Brief History of Time”, for most of them the very first thought is- “this is for nerds.” But I would defer and say its appeal is universal since it feeds on one of the most essential qualities of our species- curiosity.
“But”, they will say, “Isn’t it like a science textbook?” That is where they are totally wrong. It is not a textbook by any means. There is only one equation in the whole book, and that is the well-known E=mc2. It was written for the average reader, so the language Hawking uses is pretty simple and lively. The book is short as well, so it won’t take long to read. Still not convinced?
Here are 5 reasons why you should read “A brief History of Time”
1. It will make you know yourself a little better
This book is about more than just physics. It is about human knowledge, our past and future, and ultimately existence itself. It will show you how you came to exist and also how you will cease to exist, how small yet complex you are in the perspective of the universe. It will inspire you and change you for the better by making you a self-aware person, by teaching you to care about only the significant, to care about only the bigger picture.
2. Your cognitive capacities will increase
What is amazing about Stephen Hawking is that, he treats his readers like a friend in this book. The book feels like a journey we all are having, together. As one of most intelligent men in human history thinks and explains, you will think with him and feel like you are communicating directly with this remarkable man. This experience will open many unopened doors in your brain and thus your questioning and imagining capabilities will significantly improve.
3. You will know what the scientists are actually up to
Scientists have been making up mumbo-jumbos for a long time, right? But what is actually their ultimate goal? Presently, it’s finding the “Grand Unified Theory.” You’ll know about this present aim of every physicist, “the Grand Unified Theory”, through this book.
shows like “Firefly” or “Rick & Morty” become so much more fun when you have a little bit of grasp on the science in them
You’ll be introduced to fundamental particles, Higgs-Boson, black holes, general theory of relativity and so many other interesting things and the stories around them because they eventually help your understanding of the GUT. You’ll know “String Theory” or “Supersymmetry” or “Loop Quantum Gravity” a bit because they are all attempts at GUT, and most importantly, why they matter to us. Maybe these stories will inspire you to be a scientist yourself! Who knows?
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4. Sci-fi movies and TV shows will never be the same to you again
This book will talk about wormholes, time travel, black holes, parallel universes and other sci-fi elements pretty extensively. The “Interstellar” experience before and after reading this book is entirely different for the general audience. Seriously, shows like “Firefly” or “Rick & Morty” become so much more fun when you have a little bit of grasp on the science in them!
5. You will get to know Dr. Hawking’s wonderful sense of humour
This book is full of chuckles. Despite being one of the most informative book of our time, the book never fails to make you smile. With questions like, “If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?” or clever one-liners like, “What was God doing before He made the world? Was He preparing Hell for people who asked such questions?” the book is mesmerizing and entertaining at the same time.
So why are you waiting? Collect or download a copy of “The Brief History of Time” and give it a go. It will be worth it.
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