Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Brief Answers to the Big Questions” as Want to Read:
Brief Answers to the Big Questions
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  5,152 ratings  ·  572 reviews
Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Bantam
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Brief Answers to the Big Questions, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Garry The book is written in such a way as to provide examples that we can relate to when describing complex theories. One of the great attributes of…moreThe book is written in such a way as to provide examples that we can relate to when describing complex theories. One of the great attributes of Stephen Hawking was making these concepts relate-able but not dumbed down.
Fantastic book.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Khurram
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book, by a great man. I had heard the name Steven Hawking, but never read any of his theories. Simply for the very reason the something coming from the smartest men of the previous 2 generations would be overly complicated and beyond my understanding. What I discovered in this book is Steven Hawking was just a great man as we was a scientist, but an incredible teacher as well. His method of writing allows people like, who have a passing interest in but only a vacation of his ability in s ...more
Florencia
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A few years ago, The Times newspaper ran a headline on the front page which said 'Hawking: God Did Not Create Universe'. The article was illustrated. God was shown in a drawing by Michelangelo, looking thunderous. They printed a photo of me, looking smug. They made it look like a duel between us. But I don't have a grudge against God. I do not want to give the impression that my work is about proving or disproving the existence of God. My work is about finding a rational framework to understand
...more
Jenna
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Hawking 6 GIF - Hawking GIFs

Well, this was certainly a bitter-sweet read, knowing it is the last book of Steven Hawking. I wish I'd borrowed the e-book instead of the print because there are so many things I'd have loved to highlight.

In Brief Answers to the Big Questions, Stephen Hawking attempts to answer 10 big questions, such as:

•How did the universe begin?

•Is there a god?

•What is inside a black hole?

•Is it possible to time travel?

•Will AI outsmart us and if so, should we be worried?

These and other questions are answe
...more
Manuel Antão
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



Closed Time-like Curves: “Brief Answers to the Big Questions” by Stephen Hawking



“Is there any point in hosting a party for time travelers? Would you hope anyone would turn up?
Hawking’s answer: In 2009 I held a party for time travelers in my college, Gonville and Caius in Cambridge, for a film about time travel. To ensure that only genuine time travelers came, I didn’t send out the invitation until after the party. On the day of the par
...more
André Oliveira
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book Stephen Hawking, possibly the last book written by him, answers some big questions and makes some predictions for the future taking into account the current state of science. How did it all begin? Is there other intelligent life in the universe? Is time travel possible? Obviously, I wasn't expecting solutions for these questions, but Stephen Hawking is able to explain complicated questions in a way that everyone would understand.

Also, I love how Stephen Hawking answers those questi
...more
Bharath
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book of 2019. As a thought-provoking book from one of the leading thinkers till recent times, a good way to start the year. I have previously read his “A brief history of time” and “The grand design” both of which I liked for presenting serious science in a very readable form. This book released after Stephen Hawking’s death does not disappoint, and is a great compilation of the most important topics Hawking dealt with in his lifetime – and these topics are also those most of us ...more
Lou
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having always had much admiration for the way Stephen Hawking has lived his life, overcoming adversity to become one of the brightest stars in our sky (pun absolutely intended), I was intrigued to see what his last contribution would bring with it. One of the things I most appreciate about him and his books is that he makes often complex and complicated topics accessible to everyday individuals such as myself - those without a background or degree in the sciences, and here he explores some of th ...more
Bryan
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A total page-turner, this book is quite remarkable it gives you a sense of a personal interview between Dr. Hawking and the reader.

The Big questions are:
Is there a God?
How did it all begin?
Is time travel possible?
What is inside of a black hole?
Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?
How do we shape the future?
Should we colonize space?
Can we predict the future?
Will we survive on earth?

I highly recommend this book.
Gabby
"Unleash your imagination. Shape the future."
I loved loved loved this book. I have always been fascinated by science and astronomy and I have never read anything by Stephen Hawking, and this book was absolutely fascinating and thought provoking to me. I loved hearing his theories about our future and I agree with a lot about what he has to say about religion and how human fascination with science and space travel is so important for our future. I really agree with that statement about having all
...more
Science (Fiction) Comedy Horror and Fantasy Geek/Nerd
Part of the legacy of an exceptional genius, a source of inspiration and a science communicator.

Please note that I have put the original German text to the end of this review. Just if you might be interested.

Hawking understood how to use his life in many ways in exemplary fashion, despite his adverse health, and to research with full vigor. He was an inspiration to millions of people despite all the restrictions. And he used the nimbus as a genius, who is caged in his body, to achieve that goal.
...more
Giorgio
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Why 3 stars if the book is well-written?
Well, there is NOTHING NEW.
He just said again and again what he always said...
Maybe it should be sold as "Hawking in 90 minutes" or "Hawking for Dummies"...
Yes, his life was really RICH in experiencies, and pain, and fight to overcome an ammount of things that almost nobody could... but...

At the end, I did not feel any "answer", just plain stabilishment cientific thinking.

Not enough for me.
Richard
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future."

This is how Stephen Hawking lived his life and this is the message to the world he presents in Brief Answers To The Big Questions.

Hawking was a genius. His research and
...more
Bam
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm sure the remarkable Stephen Hawking was always being asked hard questions; I'm grateful for the opportunity to read some of his final thoughts on these topics:
~Is there a God?
~How did it all begin?
~Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
~Can we predict the future?
~What is inside a black hole?
~Is time travel possible?
~Will we survive on Earth?
~Should we colonize space?
~Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?
~How do we shape the future?

I won't claim to have completely understood his
...more
Toñi
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sin duda, mi joya literaria de 2018. El libro en sí es una breve recopilación de temas a los que Stephen Hawking ha dedicado gran parte de su vida, pero el atractivo del mismo es la posibilidad de ser entendido (al menos la mayor parte) por quienes no tengan conocimientos previos en la materia. Una ventana al universo y a su origen que incitan a querer saber más sobre las obras de este gran físico. Libro muy recomendado.
TS Chan
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The final parting gift from one of the modern legends of scientific genius and embodiment of human perseverance, I couldn't give this anything less than 5-stars.

“Be brave, be curious, be determined, overcome the odds. It can be done”

Poignantly bookended by a beautifully written Foreword from Eddie Redmayne and a touching Afterword from his daughter, Lucy Hawking, this book is a collection of essays which attempt to answer some of the biggest questions rooted in science, and to an extent phi
...more
Sazedul Waheed Nitol
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
বইটি সটিভেন হকিং-এর মৃতযু-পূরববরতী কয়েক বছরের লেখালিখি ও চিনতাভাবনার সংকলন। চমৎকার কিছু পরসঙগ নিয়ে হকিং-এর মাঝারি আকারের পরবনধগুলো পড়তে গিয়ে বেশ আরাম পেয়েছি, কারণ তাঁর লেখনি বরাবরের মতোই চোসত ও মসৃণ। তবে পরসঙগগুলো নিয়ে বযকতিগত আগরহ থাকার কারণে অনেক কিছুই জানা ছিল, যার ফলে আলোচয বইটি 'The Grand Design' বা 'A Brief History of Time'-এর মতো মুগধ করতে পারেনি। কিনতু এ-কথা বলতেই হয় যে, যারা পরথমবারের মতো পরসঙগগুলো নিয়ে বইটি থেকে জানবেন তারা বেশ উপভোগই করবেন। বইটির বাড়তি আকরষণ হলো: অভিনেতা এডি রেডমেইন ও ...more
Dan Graser
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While this collection of essays and musings on a huge range of topics makes for stimulating reading, it's a bittersweet experience realizing this is the final trip through the wonderful mind of Stephen Hawking we can take. This man has inspired generations around the world to think about the big questions and to do so in a much more engaged and informed manner, how many can boast that?

Following wonderful introductions from actor Eddie Redmayne and physicist Kip Thorne, we hear Hawking's views on
...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the week:
Last thoughts on a range of topics, taken from the extraordinary career of Stephen Hawking; and abridged for radio by Katrin Williams:

First of all he recalls his upbringing and his youthful research work, enabling him to say: 'I am a scientist with a deep fascination with physics, cosmology, the universe and the future of humanity."

Reader Anton Lesser

Producer Duncan Minshull


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000...
Robert Yokoyama
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because I admire Stephen Hawking and wanted to learn more about science. He asks questions in this book that I haven't thought of like what is in a black hole. There is no definitive answer to this question, but I did learn that a black hole is a collasped star that does have gravitational power to suck in a human being. I learned that a black hole does trap in light and emit a lot of heat and radiation. Hawking supported living in space, and he supports his belief by telling ...more
Senthil
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow. I feel I have become physically , intellectually & spiritually smaller after reading this book.

An enlightening read on some of the biggest questions faced by the mankind, the book is true to its title and does its job fairly well in answering the complex questions in a simple easy-to-understand language ,for most parts.I must admit though, occasionally there were some theories that just went above my noob head.

God- defined as an embodiment of laws of nature and not as a subject to human
...more
vonblubba
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love big questions, and they don't get any bigger than the ones Hawking tries to answer in this book. We are talking about his personal opinions, of course, but it's definitely interesting to hear the opinions of one of the greatest minds of the last century.
To be honest, on occasion some of the scientific theories presented seemed a little far-fetched to me, even if they were presented as "this is how things work, that experiment proved it". But again, exposition of those theories is necessar
...more
Bettie☯


Description: Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.

Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this
...more
Brian Bakker
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Dare I say this book felt like an unnecessary addition to Hawking's work this soon after his death?

I get it, when someone with the stature of Hawking passes away, the demand for a book is there. And since I believe Hawking to be an extraordinary person, what objection could there be for this release?

My main gripe is the editing. It's beyond my grasp how such a wide-spread book could be edited so poorly, making it feel rushed and cheap. There are a lot of sentences and entire paragraphs being r
...more
Hải
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hai Nguyen
23 hrs ·
Cuốn sách thứ 100 (số đẹp) đọc trong năm nay tình cờ sao lại hay đến tuyệt vời. Không mấy nhà khoa học khi còn sống đã đạt được sự hâm mộ và quan tâm từ đông đảo quần chúng - những người mà giờ bảo nêu một công thức vật lý đã học chắc chả ai còn nhớ, như Albert Einstein ngày xưa và Stephen Hawking hiện tại.

"Brief Answers to the Big Questions" như là một món quà chia tay thế giới này của giáo sư Hawking. Cuốn sách nêu lên 10 câu hỏi, bắt đầu bằng câu hóc búa nhất: "Có Chúa Trời
...more
Anneloes Welling
Ik dacht dat dit boek ook toegankelijk zou zijn voor mensen die precies niets van natuurkunde snappen, maar helaas. De 1 procent die ik wel snapte, deed mij bekeren tot het nihilisme. Verder wel een coole kaft.
Linh
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Một tác phẩm tuyệt vời. Nhiều chỗ không hoàn toàn hiểu (như khi Hawking nói về lỗ đen). Nhưng vẫn quá đáng để đọc và suy nghĩ, và đọc lại. Và nghĩ là thế giới quả cẫn còn may mắn khi có những người thông minh, chính trực như thế để cùng suy nghĩ và chia sẻ.
Paul Demetre
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is essentially ten short chapters in which Dr. Hawking answers one question per chapter. The questions are topics such as, does God exist, how did the universe begin, what is in a black hole, is time travel possible, will AI outsmart us, and how can we survive?

Will written in that it is both interesting and mostly understandable by even a non-scientist (with a few exceptions).

Not quite light reading but surprisingly accessable.
Book
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

“Brief Answers to the Big Questions” addresses the big questions of the day by scientists, political leaders and the general public. World-famous cosmologist and award-winning author Stephen Hawking takes the readers on his final ride to answering some of the most interesting questions facing humankind. This instructive 227-page book includes the following ten chapters: Chapter 1: Is There a God? Chapter 2: How Did It All Begin? Chapter 3: Is
...more
Greg
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
GZ>>>TRUMP? YOUR THOUGHTS,MR. HAWKING?
(Interview in the 9th Dimension, M-Theory #763, questions from the audience at random.)
SH>>>"Take Proxima b, for example..within the solar system Alpha Centauri...it has some similarities to Earth...If there are beings alive on Alpha Centauri today, they remain blissfully ignorant of the rise of Donald Trump...we are acting with reckless indifference to our future on planet Earth."
GZ>>>YIKES! MOVING INSIDE VARIOUS DIMENSIONS/M-THEO
...more
Jeff
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What can be better than this?! Stephen's last book is just perfect! If you are going to buy this book, buy the Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition as it includes the bonus content of five tributes from notable friends of Stephen.

In Brief Answers to the Big Questions Stephen answers ten of humankind's most pressing questions succinctly with a combination of incredible scientific insight and humor. His arguments are presented in easy-to-digest twenty-or-so page chapters. Stephen is writing for t
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
7,901 followers
Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England. His parents' house was in north London, but during the second world war Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. When he was eight, his family moved to St Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At eleven Stephen went to St Albans School, and then on to University College, Oxford, his father's old college. Ste ...more
“When we see the Earth from space, we see ourselves as a whole. We see the unity, and not the divisions. It is such a simple image with a compelling message; one planet, one human race.” 15 likes
“The human race does not have a very good record of intelligent behaviour.” 9 likes
More quotes…
Zoe Anjelica | Personal Security | Authors from G to L