By Stephen Hawking
The up to date and accelerated 10th anniversary version
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Additional info for A Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition
In an unchanging universe a beginning in time is something that has to be imposed by some being outside the universe; there is no physical necessity for a beginning. One can imagine that God created the universe at literally any time in the past. On the other hand, if the universe is expanding, there may be physical reasons why there had to be a beginning. One could still imagine that God created the universe at the instant of the big bang, or even afterwards in just such a way as to make it look as though there had been a big bang, but it would be meaningless to suppose that it was created before the big bang.
Will it ever come to an end? Can we go back in time? Recent breakthroughs in physics, made possible in part by fantastic new technologies, suggest answers to some of these longstanding questions. Someday these answers may seem as obvious to us as the earth orbiting the sun—or perhaps as ridiculous as a tower of tortoises. Only time (whatever that may be) will tell. C. the Greek philosopher Aristotle, in his book On the Heavens, was able to put forward two good arguments for believing that the earth was a round sphere rather than a flat plate.
And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in. CHAPTER 2 SPACE AND TIME Our present ideas about the motion of bodies date back to Galileo and Newton. Before them people believed Aristotle, who said that the natural state of a body was to be at rest and that it moved only if driven by a force or impulse. It followed that a heavy body should fall faster than a light one, because it would have a greater pull toward the earth. The Aristotelian tradition also held that one could work out all the laws that govern the universe by pure thought: it was not necessary to check by observation.
A Brief History of Time, Updated and Expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition by Stephen Hawking