Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, by Stephen Hawking ISBN 0553095234
Four out of five stars
When he writes about physics, Stephen Hawking is superb at taking extremely complex natural phenomena and making it understandable to those without a background in cosmology. However, when he tries to interject humor, it doesn’t play well to the scientifically knowledgeable. Although I am sure many readers find it amusing.
This book is a collection of essays by Hawking, generally derived from lectures that he made. The one exception is the last entry, which is an interview that was conducted on Christmas Day in 1992. The subject matter ranges from the autobiographical to a discussion of Hawking’s work on the radiation emitted by black holes. It is interesting to read Hawking as he puts forward an understandable explanation of the principles of quantum mechanics that allow black holes to leak matter and energy. Hawking rivals the great Isaac Asimov in his ability to explain complicated scientific matters. If you are interested in black holes, this book will help you, although more of an explanation of imaginary time would have strengthened the book.