This could have been one of the most informative and engaging books. It is, however, not to be rushed, but savored, and pondered upon. I take one chapter at a time and I will be reading this throughout the holidays.
Stephen Hawking has tried to explain the nature of our universe, from the smallest particles which cannot be seen to the biggest entities, the black holes, which (ironically) also cannot be seen, in a simpleton’s language. Barring one mathematical equation, the famous mass energy equivalence relation by Einstein, Hawking has done away with all mathematics and made accessible to a layman the treasures of science and the knowledge of the universe that we have acquired so far (more correctly till the time the book was written) while conjecturing what might be the ingredients of that unified theory.
“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?”
“Ever since the dawn of civilization, people have not been content to see events as unconnected and inexplicable. They have craved an understanding of the underlying order in the world. Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity’s deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.”