Stephen Hawking: A Biography
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|Format:||Paperback / softback, 215 pages|
|Other Information: ||b/w illus|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 October 2007|
Stephen Hawking is arguably the most famous physicist since Albert Einstein. His decades-long struggle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), combined with his singular brilliance as a cosmologist, has fascinated both the public and his colleagues in science. In this engagingly written biography, Kristine Larsen, a physicist and astronomer herself, presents a candid and insightful portrait of Hawking's personal and professional life. Avoiding the hero-worship sometimes found in popular works on Hawking, Larsen emphasises that Hawking is first and foremost a scientist whose work has made significant contributions to our understanding of the nature and origins of the universe.Writing in non-technical language for the lay reader, Larsen clearly explains Hawking's complex scientific accomplishments, while telling the story of his challenging life. The topics include Hawking's early lack of focus as a college student; the impact of ALS on his career and personal life; his groundbreaking work on radiating black holes; his later cutting-edge theories of black holes, cosmology, and the anthropic principle; the amazing publishing success of "A Brief History of Time"; and his status as a pop icon and spokesperson for the interplay of science and society. Larsen situates Hawking's sometimes-controversial work within the broader context of scientific peer review and public debate, and discusses his personal life with compassion, respect, and honesty.
Table of Contents
Destiny's Child: An Auspicious Birth and Eclectic Upbringing; Scientist in Training: The Oxford Years; Tragedy and Triumph: Deadly Disease and Dissertation; Children and Calculations: Family Man and Theoretician; "Stephen's Changed Everything": Black Holes Aren't Black; Caltech and Cambridge: Exploring New Horizons; Physics or Metaphysics?: The "No-Boundary" Proposal; Challenges and Controversy: An Unexpected Silence and Time's Arrows; The Best Selling Book That "No One Read": A Brief History of Time; To Boldly Go: Time Travel and Television; Plays, P-branes, and Polls: Private Lives and Public Pronouncements; Books and Bets: The Universe in a Nutshell and the End of a Paradox; Epilogue: Stephen Hawking: Man vs. Myth; Glossary; Index.
About the Author
Kristine M. Larsen (New Britain, CT), professor of physics and astronomy at Central Connecticut State University, is the author of Cosmology 101 and numerous articles in scholarly journals.
"Much journalistic coverage fails to appreciate that the science is fascinating enough as it is without exaggeration and distortion...It is therefore refreshing to have this biography that tells both the human story of his life, and of the development of his scientific contributions in their historical context without hype...this book is engaging and informative...I recommend [it] to anyone who is curious about Stephen Hawking and his contributions to science." -- Nature Physics, June 4, 2008
|Publisher: ||Prometheus Books|
|Dimensions: ||22.76 x 15.44 x 1.42 centimeters (0.37 kg)|