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I have recently found my copy of Hawkings' A Brief History of Time which I have never finished. This time I'm determined to read it all the way through. However, the book is now almost 25 years old. Is the book still relevant, or has any recent discoveries invalidated parts of it?

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    $\begingroup$ The book is the history from the big bang till 25 years ago. You can read it and then catch up on the last 25 years. :) But seriously the book is worth reading and it is not very big, so you will not spend that much time. $\endgroup$ – MBN Oct 2 '13 at 20:08
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    $\begingroup$ Horrible book (some highlights are the yellow-press alike personal critics against Newton in the appendix or the bi-dimensional dog, to name just a few). If you want to enjoy some popular science books, read "QED - The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" by Feynman or "Relativity - The Special and the General Theory" by Einstein (though obviously much older than 25 years), or "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. But the intended scope of "A Brief History of Time" is too ambitious, and the resulting product is nearly unreadable. $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera Oct 2 '13 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ @EduardoGuerrasValera - I think I vaguely remember the 2D dog. What's wrong with it? $\endgroup$ – System Down Oct 2 '13 at 20:44
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    $\begingroup$ @SystemDown That dog is part of an effort to explain something impossible to explain without maths and in such a short text. The "Six Easy Pieces" or "The Character of Physical Law" by Feynman are much more meaninful and enlightening things to read for the non-physicist than Hawking's "Brief History of Time", no matter how much I admire how courageous as a person and brilliant as a scientist Hawking is. But the book seemed to me nonsense. $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera Oct 2 '13 at 20:54
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The book was published in 1988. Flipping through it now, I don't notice anything that has actually turned out to be wrong. It predates the modern era of high-precision cosmology and the discovery of the acceleration of cosmological expansion. The chapter on string theory dates from the era when string theory wasn't yet looking like a failed research program.

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    $\begingroup$ Failed research program!? That's a bit harsh Ben :(. $\endgroup$ – joshphysics Oct 4 '13 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ @joshphysics: looking like one, not being a failed research program. $\endgroup$ – MBN Oct 6 '13 at 10:28

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