This landmark volume in scientific writing leads us on an exhilarating journey to distant galaxies, black holes, and alternate dimensions, and includes Professor Hawking's observations about the last decade's advancesdevelopments that have confirmed many of his theoretical predictions. Makes vividly clear how Professor Hawking's work has transformed our view of the universe.
Hawking's discovery that black holes emit particles caused great excitement among astronomers. In this succinct overview of current theories of the cosmos, the Cambridge University physicist modestly weaves in his own notable contributions while giving due credit to his colleagues. He explains why relativity implies that a ``big bang'' occurred and examines string theory, which posits a universe of 10 or 26 dimensions. His understanding of time's flow leads him to conclude that intelligent beings can only exist during the expansion phase of our increasingly chaotic universe. New research on black holes and subatomic particles holds implications for scientists who, like Hawking, are attempting to devise a unified theory linking Einstein to quantum mechanics. The merit of this book is Hawking's ability to make these ideas graspable by the lay reader. (April)