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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (11,130 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen Hawking Narrator: Simon Prebble Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2001 ISBN: 9780553753943
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Stephen Hawking’s phenomenal, multimillion-copy bestseller, A Brief History of Time, introduced the ideas of this brilliant theoretical physicist to readers all over the world. 

Now, in a major publishing event, Hawking returns with a lavishly illustrated sequel that unravels the mysteries of the major breakthroughs that have occurred in the years since the release of his acclaimed first book.

The Universe in a Nutshell• Quantum mechanics
• M-theory
• General relativity
• 11-dimensional supergravity
• 10-dimensional membranes
• Superstrings
• P-branes
• Black holes

One of the most influential thinkers of our time, Stephen Hawking is an intellectual icon, known not only for the adventurousness of his ideas but for the clarity and wit with which he expresses them. In this new book Hawking takes us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, to explain in laymen’s terms the principles that control our universe.

Like many in the community of theoretical physicists, Professor Hawking is seeking to uncover the grail of science — the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos. In his accessible and often playful style, he guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe — from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality. 

He takes us to the wild frontiers of science, where superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle. And he lets us behind the scenes of one of his most exciting intellectual adventures as he seeks “to combine Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman’s idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe.”

With characteristic exuberance, Professor Hawking invites us to be fellow travelers on this extraordinary voyage through space-time. Copious four-color illustrations help clarify this journey into a surreal wonderland where particles, sheets, and strings move in eleven dimensions; where black holes evaporate and disappear, taking their secret with them; and where the original cosmic seed from which our own universe sprang was a tiny nut.

The Universe in a Nutshell is essential reading for all of us who want to understand the universe in which we live. Like its companion volume, A Brief History of Time, it conveys the excitement felt within the scientific community as the secrets of the cosmos reveal themselves.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Clear, concise and accessible. And he leavens it further with occasional wry humor. St Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Provocative and informed ... plenty of comprehensible analogies and no small amount of humor, often self-deprecating.... Best of all, the book is liberally sprinkled with well-conceived, gorgeously rendered and frequently whimsical illustrations. Time

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lola | 2/13/2014

    " it's good but his examples aren't really too clear.....I think I was more confused about certain topic after reading his examples.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shashank | 2/13/2014

    " Universe is a strange place :-) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mate | 2/1/2014

    " At certain moments trippy and confusing but on the whole surprisingly readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob Prophet | 1/24/2014

    " I'll have to listen a second time before claiming to have learned anything. The subject of physics has a way of going over my head. ;) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sameer | 1/24/2014

    " i read this more than 4 times, some sections more than 10 times, and yet still, i manage to find myself misunderstanding some parts. though you can never simplify physics like what Stephen Hawking did. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Philip | 1/8/2014

    " Badly explained to the lay person... is that even possible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natasha | 12/19/2013

    " A very interesting, easy to understand book. I like Stephen Hawking's sense of humor. Some of the illustrations were useful, but most felt silly or had no relation to what was being described or talked about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frederik Okslund | 12/16/2013

    " More accessible than A Brief History, although not as captivating. I would suggest reading The Universe in a Nutshell prior to A Brief History, as the former introduces the same complex concepts in a more illustrative way that facilitate the reader's understanding of the latter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 stephanie | 12/10/2013

    " that's right, stephen hawking, TWO STARS. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Sweeting | 10/21/2013

    " A brilliant mind. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 steve ross | 10/21/2013

    " I read this in one sitting because I was depressed one night. Talk about problems. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Pavlina | 10/18/2013

    " This book is even better than A Brief History of Time when it comes to making advanced physics simple. Hawking does a great job of breaking difficult topics into easy-to-understand concepts, and the illustrations are amazing. A definite read for any quantum physics junkies out there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 10/12/2013

    " Decent book. Not as good as A Brief History in Time and a bit more technical. Gives a good overview on the state of modern physics and quantum mechanics. Worth checking out if you can grasp the material. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mindy Butler | 9/26/2013

    " Finally! A quantum physics picture book! A fun reiteration or introduction of A Brief History of Time... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ali saremi | 9/22/2013

    " mahshare in ketab! asheghe fizik mishi!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl Hoopingarner II | 6/10/2013

    " This was by far one of the hardest, most interesting books I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judi | 5/26/2013

    " This was the update to "A Brief History of Time" as far as I can tell. I generally like Hawking's style - he makes his subject easy - sort of - to understand. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia Schuyler | 5/24/2013

    " easier to follow than A Brief History and worth the effort "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua Fallaw | 5/8/2013

    " An absolutely fantastic journey through the universe with one of the most brilliant minds of our times. Dr. Hawking makes physics understandable and enjoyable for any audience, and this is one of his best books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Wang | 8/1/2012

    " Compelling, Hawkins always peak my interest in physics "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hans | 6/15/2012

    " Not much different than a Briefer History of Time (which I read twice just to understand). This one has some pictures to go along with the explanations and theories though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Beth Laychak | 5/4/2012

    " I highly recommend the illustrated version "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Igor | 4/3/2012

    " Very similar to a Brief History of Time, but with more pictures! I think this book is meant for an even more broad audience than his earlier book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 10/25/2011

    " amazing, i'm a science geek. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Everling | 7/24/2011

    " Takes no small amount of mental energy to ponder this book despite the relatively short length, probably because the topics are astrophysics and metaphysics. Lots of support for the Anthropic Principle and a kind of update to "A Brief History of Time". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ares | 5/23/2011

    " it's good but his examples aren't really too clear.....I think I was more confused about certain topic after reading his examples.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 4/30/2011

    " great piccys and a book that I keep ready bits from "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pablo | 4/29/2011

    " Good compilation of modern physics. Mainly focused in string theory. Easy reading and well illustrated "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gerik | 4/25/2011

    " It's ok, a bit difficult to get through as it's a bit too theoretical without much tangible material. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carlos | 4/9/2011

    " Entendi menos de la mitad, ahora por lo menos espero entender un poco mas de las referencias/chistes de Futurama. :S
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Spencer | 4/9/2011

    " Black Holes, String Theory, The Big Bang, Multiple Universes

    All explained so simply junior high students can understand. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jake | 4/1/2011

    " This book is extremely high level science. It begins with relativity and Einstein, and then goes on to talk about: M-theory, string theory, supersymmetry, extra dimensions, p-branes, the shape of time, and much more. would only recommend this if your science level is at least college level "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maryam | 3/23/2011

    " Read it, If you have forgotten your definition of the " world" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Craig | 3/10/2011

    " Are you religious or do you believe that knowledge is the kingdom of God Hood?
    Just trying to be as funny as Stephen Hawking, or as truthful as Joseph Smith. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 3/9/2011

    " It made me feel like my brain was a hard drive that needed a thorough defragging... I never did defragg and consequently I never quite caught up! I have the hardback edition and it is a beautiful book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 2/3/2011

    " Highly informative, worth reading for the science, even if the prose is not the most compelling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 10/15/2010

    " probably easier to read than to listen to "

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About the Author
Author Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is and English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. His ability to make science understandable and compelling was established with his first book, A Brief History of Time, which has sold nearly ten million copies all over the world. Hugely influential in his field, he has authored or participated in the creation of countless other popular science books, including The Universe in a Nutshell, A Briefer History of Time, On the Shoulders of Giants, and George’s Secret Key to the Universe. He is the current director of research at the Institute for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge.

About the Narrator

Simon Prebble, a British-born performer, is a stage and television actor and veteran narrator of some three hundred audiobooks. As one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices, he has received over twenty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie in 2010. He lives in New York.