The universe is a phenomenon that human beings want to understand. There are various explanation, some are religious others are scientific. The religious books explain the universe as accretion of a Supreme Being while science studies the universe by engaging in research and documenting the results.
The pioneering scientist like Newton and Einstein coined theories that have formed the basis for many theorists in today’s world. The theorist explained the origin of the universe and made important discoveries that influenced the world view. Other scientist have emerged and published as they continue to explore the existence of the universe (Diez 1).
This research paper will compare The Exploding Suns: The Secrets of the Supernovas by Asimov and The Brief History of Time by Hawking. It will explore the similarities and the differences. Moreover, it will discuss the advantages of each book over the other. This paper will also recommend different readers to each book while giving the reasons for the recommendation. At the end the paper will give an opinion of the favorite book and give the reasons.
The Exploding Suns by Isaac Asimov
The explanation of the existence of the universe is explained by the award winning scientist as having taken place billions of years ago. This happened when the “big bang” took place and molecules of helium together with molecules of hydrogen formed gigantic clouds. The author introduces the supernovas which takes the center stage in explaining the universe.
The supernovas are enormous unsteady suns that are massive tremors and giant outbursts are phenomenal in the entire system. The results of the phenomenal are believed to perpetuate life and among other things the metals and rocks.
In his book, Asimov puts in plain words the diverse types of stars that formed. While giving the explanations, he describes how a star becomes supernova from nova. Besides the stars he explicates the origin of life. He uses scientific knowledge to explain the existence of God without referring to any religious beliefs (Blake: 3).
Asimov (13) explains the origin humans using science. In his explanations of human existence, he does not subscribe to any supernatural being or powers. To him billions of years have passed since the simple molecules that existed in the atmosphere combined to form the complex universe. The formation of the complex molecules left no trace that would imply life existed. To be able to establish the accuracy of this theory, technology which would enable more investigation in the space should be embraced.
Moreover, there is need to use biotechnology in the investigations to establish if there is any form of life that would be likened to what is on planet Earth. Further to clarify if the human beings living on the planet Earth have any beginnings in the space. After establishing the existence of human life in the space, then the evidence should be consistent with the makeup of human beings in the contemporary world.
The Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Hawking in his books covers several subjects in cosmology. He covers the big bang theory, the black holes as well as the light cones (Diez 1). what is more the author goes ahead to discuss mathematical concepts in the book. He however refrains from using including mathematical equation in the book.
His presentation of the contents in the book is organized systematically. He starts by stating the beginning of the universes and using theory he explains how the existence of objects came to be and reveals the existence of the black holes.
The book answers important questions that human beings have about the existence of entire universe. Hawking uses scientific approach to answer these questions. In his book he discusses the commencement of time and the end of the universe. He also displays the similarities and contrasts of the different types of the black hole. He discusses the density of the universe in relation to the impact of critical value to understand the expansion rate.
In his book Hawking while reviewing the writings of the Newton as well as Einstein, he discusses the role of God in the creation of the universe. His main interest is to understand how God designed the quantum mechanics law and relativity theory only to abandon the progress of the concepts without leaving room for intercession.
Both books can reader friendly for non scientist. Hawking’s The Brief History of Time has only one equation. This is contrary to the fact that scientist are prone to using equations.non scientist often find the equations unfriendly and discourage them from reading the book.
Besides having only one equation, Hawking frequently gives illustrates in the book to enable the reader understand the arguments. Asimov in the book The Exploding Suns explains the scientific concepts in his text making it possible for the reader to understand. The reader therefore does not need to have prior knowledge of scientific concepts to be able to understand the text.
The two authors have made great contributions in science and particularly cosmology. Asimov has written and edited over 500 books and written enormous letters as well as articles concerning science. Hawking has also made great contributions and challenged what the pioneers in science documented.
For instance, Hawking contributes to the theory of black holes by noting that the black hole adheres to the thermodynamic law. By doing so he also integrates the general relativity approach together with quantum mechanics to understand his discovery that challenges existing theory of black hole. In this case he ascertains that it possible that the black hole is not entirely black, this is because radiation can leak (Hawking 30).
Both authors are keen to the nature of the constantly changing world and the enormous growth in knowledge. There is more scientist than before and therefore the audiences of sciences have increased. They try to explain the nature universe using science to meet the need for knowledge. This is an attempt to incorporate new research as the explanation of some phenomenon still remains unexplained.
Although the books can be read by non scientist, it is necessary for the reader to have some form of basic education in science to be able to understand some concepts explained in the books. Having studied the introductory science classes in the initial stages in school, the reader’s curiosity arises for more knowledge. This is the information found in both books, which is how the universe came into existence in details cause the readers to develop curiosity and want to read and read contents.
Asimov and Hawking have subscribed to the theories that were propounded by scientist such as Einstein, Newton among others. They refer to theory of the big bang and the concept of black holes to explain the complex reality scientifically. Although the theories were crafted many years ago they are still used in both books as a basis of explaining the beginnings of the world.
In their later editions of the versions of their books, they have included the developments in science that indicate changes in science. The new additional information captures the developments in theory and modifies the existing theories that have been explained in the book. This does not mean that the theories that are mentioned before are irrelevant; they are relevant as they form a basis for understanding the new modified theory.
Hawking subscribes to the theories that were propounded by the pioneers of science Newton and Einstein. The concepts derived from gravitational force are compared with quantum mechanics together with relativity theory. The concepts form a basis for studying the nuclear forces (strong forces and weak forces), electromagnetic field, and the theory of superstring as well as quantum theory.
Combining the concepts is a challenge because of the diversity of the forces. However, God is believed to have used a plan that combined all the concepts. On the other hand, Asimov does rely on the existing theory but he avoids dwelling on the already published theories to explain his understanding of the universe.
Hawking describes the entire universe using a vast range of theories to capture every detail of the world more than Asimov. The wide ranges of theories make his book more comprehensive than the fewer theories used by Asimov.
Hawking therefore makes the theories more complex when he goes ahead to combine the principles in order to come up with one theory that captures the wide range. This is evident when he incorporates the theory of relativity with quantum mechanics and relates them to the four dimensions. On the other hand besides introducing the big bang theory, Asimov chooses to follow the explanation of the supernovas to concentrate on one course.
Hawking gives details on the objects in the universe while Asimov includes the origin of life to his theory of the universe. Besides discussing the novas and supernovas, the black hole and the big bang, Asimov briefly explains how human life began. In his explanation of the origin of life, the reader is left to engage in thoughts that doubt the credibility of his story. This is because it may be difficult to comprehend if life and the rocks together with the heavy metals could have any connection.
Hawking does welcome the idea of God being included in the creation of the universe. In contrast, Asimov ignores the fact that there is a possibility that God would have played a role in the universe. Hawking in trying to explain how the four forces are intertwined visits the subject of God being the creator of the universe.
He refers to Gods role intervening in the nature he created whenever there raises challenges that may have implications referring to the forces of nature. Moreover, he seldom criticizes God’s role in the universe. Asimov on the contrast is hesitant to include God in the picture. He explains the universe purely on the basis of science.
Advantages of one book over the other
Advantage of the exploding suns
The most fascinating aspect of The Exploding Suns is the explanation of the existence of the entire world using the theory of the supernovas. What gives the book more advantage to The Brief History of Time is the inclusion of the explanation on the beginnings of human being.
The fact that Asimov uses the novas and supernovas in his book makes it possible for a new student of the science to understand. Although he does introduce complex scientific theories in the text he keeps the explanation within the scope of the novas and supernovas. This makes it possible for a reader to comprehend and flow with the ideas.
The advantage Asimov’s book is that it is much simpler to follow unlike The Brief History of Time which introduces a vast range of theories and the comprehensive information is compacted to give a brief history.
The study of the stars is a complex topic that requires efforts and devotion of time to be able to understand. Asimov uses uncomplicated language in his book to disseminate the complex information about the suns. Moreover, he takes us back to the well known theories of the big bang, black holes and other theories that have been formulated to explain the reality of the universe.
The concepts that are used in The Exploding Suns are explained explicitly. This enables people without prior knowledge of physics or astrology to read and understand the text. For this reason, the readers can read without consulting with the dictionary or encyclopedia for the complex theories. Asimov makes it possible for non scientist to use the book comfortably irrespective of their level of education.
Advantage of the brief history of time
The Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking is a book that encourages one to be more imaginative. He deeply explains the existence of the universe and the great phenomenon with enthusiasm. This he does by using understandable language.
The last edition of Hawking has an additional chapter that gives the book an advantage over The exploding suns. The book has been revised making modifications according to developments in physics. The chapter talks about time travel on top of wormholes. Consequently, Hawking book thorough investigations on the theories gives credit as he makes comparison to find weakness and strengths of each. In his findings he finds similarity in the different approaches in physics.
The Brief History of Time is the book for one seeking to understand the origin of the universe, how the universe formed and gets to know more about astronomy. The determination of a reader to understand is a must. This is because Hawking refers to some complex processes that require a lot of attention especially for non scientist. Although he discusses the theory of black holes in details, the relativity theory is not given equal attention and thus the reader must pay attention to capture the idea.
Getting started with reading the theories that summarize the existence of the universe and time is possible. Non scientist can get several theories in one book that is The Brief History of Time. The books writer did not have in mind that he writing the text for the experts. Understandable language is used with limited equations hence friendly. However, the book does use scientific concepts that either explained in detail or at least briefly.
This enables the non- experts to be able to understand. The concepts that are used do not make the entire literature incomprehensible but rather introduces the reader the theories that have been in existence in the past years as stipulated by scientist. The book is informative to both non-scientist and scientist. However the reader must have at least some education to form a basis for understanding science.
What kind of readers would be recommended to one book and why
Recommending a book to a reader can be daunting task. Readers have different motives of reading a book. Both books are knowledgeable and can help the reader to understand the makeup of the universe and influence their perception about the universe.
Recommend the Exploding Suns
For a reader whose aim is to understand the concept of supernovas, then The Exploding Suns would be the book to read. Asimov explains the way the supernovas are formed. The details of the suns are given in detail and the reader is left with no choice but to get the concept of the supernovas which is used throughout the book.
Readers who have little knowledge in science may use Asimov’s book. The concepts are explained clearly. The reader need not have any knowledge in science since Asimov writes in a layman’s language. The reader will be able to understand the different principles of the suns and get insight to know more.
Readers who do not believe in the existence of any Supreme Being and power (God) can subscribe to Asimov writings. He does not acknowledge whether God had any stake in the formation of the universe. To him science is responsible for the creation of life and the objects in space.
Students without any basic knowledge on the physical sciences or astronomy can read the exploding suns. It introduces the subject of the astrology in a comprehensive yet understandable manner.
Recommend the brief history of time
The readers who want to explore knowledge about the big bang theory, the black holes as well as the light cones The Brief History of Time is the book to read. The reader focuses on the types of black holes and explains how they are formed and describes the scenario in detail.
A reader interested in theories is physics need to read The Brief History of Time. It can be considered to be an introduction to theories in physic. This is because it calls for absolute attention while reading the text where the reader is provoked to think. Moreover, it recaptures what the existing literature about the theories talk about and adds to the discussions.
A reader who wants to understand how God fits in the scientific explanation of how the universe came to be should read The Brief History of Tim. In his book, Hawking devoted a whole chapter to discuss the role of God in science. Hawking invokes God and does so tactfully. It is important to note that he avoids contradicting with God and approaches then subject with ease.
The Brief History of Time arranged systematically such that a reader with little knowledge about astronomy can follow. The chapters are guiding since one chapter ushers in the next chapter. In the chapters that proceed, Hawking takes time to explain the concepts in depth. Later he keeps referring to what he explained to build in the knowledge. The most recent developments in theory are discussed in the end. For instance the last chapter on the string theory is presented last.
The four dimensions of the world are explained vividly in The Brief History of Time. The intent of relating and describing the dimensions is with an aim of approaching the subject of obtaining a theory that includes all the mentioned theories in the book. According to Hawking, science would reach its end if a unified theory that speaks about the universe would be coined. This aspect of discussing the dimensions makes the book even more interesting to read.
The Brief History of Time is a book that total concentration to read. Although Hawking makes it easier to understand by arranging the chapters in a friendly way, the reader must pay attention not to skip any details. Hawking keeps referring to concepts already introduced in previous chapters to introduce other concepts in the following chapter.
The four dimensions and the theories mentioned might not be easy for a non scientist to gasp. They must pay attention and meditate as they progress so as to deduce meanings that are implied within the theories. Besides the fact that some concepts in physics can be difficult to explain, I would recommend the book to a non scientist as well as emerging scientist to read the book. This is because Hawking simplified the explanation such that one can understand.
If a reader wants a book that is wealthy in a lot of information, The Brief History of Time is the book to read. It is rich in information and every time the reader reads they encounter more and more information. This is to mean that the book is comprehensive in the subject of time and space, among other interesting scientific theories. The end result is that the reader broadens his knowledge in the subject.
There is so much that remains unexplored in the existence of the universe. Hawking provokes other scientist who may be interested in the subject to explore so as to arrive at a unified theory.
This is a call for more inventions in the subject. A scientist who would be interested in astrology may read the book to get insights from Hawking. Moreover, the theory that was introduced in the last chapter, the string theory is an area that needs to be explored as it is an emerging theory. This book could be recommended to a scientist who wants to engage in research about the astronomy.
As the name of the book suggests, Hawking wrapped up the entire story of time and space briefly. A reader with at least the knowledge of the physics can engage in the reading the publication. The details provided are best for someone with at least the some college education in science.
This is because he does present a lot of details in physics are limits his exploration in giving an extensive definition of some concepts. However the reader despite losing the writer in some parts of the book can still catch up and get to understand as he often uses simple language, considering that physics can be complex and difficult to explain.
College graduates who have completed their physics tutorials can use the book to broaden their understanding about the universe. The book covers several concepts that have been introduced during their training. Moreover, the book can be of great advantage to those who seek to advance in physics and astrological studies. This is because it provokes further thinking and broadens ones understanding of time and space.
Although the latest edition of The Brief History of Time introduced the new developments of theory in physics, most of the content emanate from theories that were developed many years back. This book would not be the most appropriate for a reader searching for new theories in physics.
Which book did I like more and why
Both The Brief History of Time and The Exploding Suns give the details that a non scientist would read and understand. They have areas of similarities like the big bang theory and are presented differently. The major driving force that leads one to choose a book is to get information which is comprehensive like in The Brief History of Time.
The Brief History of Time emerges s as the most comprehensive book because of the wide inclusion of many theories that explain the world phenomenon. Moreover, the theories are explained consistently and progressively. Hawking uses simple language understandable even to the non scientist.
A lot of knowledge is compacted just like the title of the books calls it a brief history. For this reason one begins to gain interest and becomes more imaginative. The author further attempts to relate the complex forces of nature with the existing theories so as to come up with a unified approach on the nature of the world system. More importantly, the book is theoretical and avoids using equations.
The universe is a complex reality that can be hard to explain. The Brief History of Time and The Exploding Suns have tried to give an account of the existence of the entire universe. Among the questions answered is the beginning of the universe and how forces of nature resulted into the present world.
They give an account of the objects that are found in the space and explain various concepts (Girl: 1). Both books in their latest editions have introduced a chapter on the development of theories and use the earlier theories to explain the emerging theories.
Among the theories commonly used in both books is the theory of the big bang and black hole among others. It is a remarkable effort from both authors that they managed to simplify the complex science into understandable layman’s language. Moreover, both authors have referred to theories that were coined by the pioneering scientist.
The content found in the books is different in approach. Hawking in The Brief History of Time discusses the relativity theory; quantum mechanics among others while Asimov in The Exploding Suns dwells on the theory of the novas and the supernovas. The other difference is that Hawking book may require the reader to have some foundation in physics to be able to capture all the ideas that are presented.
On the other hand Asimov’s book is written in the simplest language for readers without prior knowledge on astrology. Asimov has included in his book explanation of how human life came to be. Besides using science to explain the nature of the universe, Hawking visits the role of God in the universe.
Asimov, Isaac. The Exploding Suns: The Secrets of the Supernovas. Oak Lawn Public Library, 1991
Blake, David. A Brief History of Time, review, 2004. Web. 2 June, 2011
Diez, David. Great Overview of Stars + Brief Biology, 2006 Web. 2 June, 2011
Gir, Alam. A brief History of time from the big bang to the black holes, 2011. Web. 2 June, 2011 Hawking, Steven. The Brief History of Time. New York: Bantam, 1998.
Hawking, Steven. The Brief History of Time. New York: Bantam, 1998.