The Nature of Space and Time

  • Share this:
Share with a friend
Sign into your email account to send this page to a friend:
Outlook or Apple Mail
or other default program
Walmart Gift Card
Put the fun of shopping in their hands with Walmart Gift Cards! Ship to Home or Send via email.
Advertisement
Advertisement

The Nature of Space and Time

Format:  Paperback,

145 pages

Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr

Publish Date: Feb 2010

ISBN-13: 9780691145709

ISBN-10: 0691145709

Buy from Walmart

Shipping & Pickup
Online
$12.30

In stock for:

  • Store information not available.

 Buy from Marketplace

Shipping & Additional Information

Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.

Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. But was he right? Can the quantum theory of fields and Einstein's general theory of relativity, the two most accurate and successful theories in all of physics, be united in a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? On this issue, two of the world's most famous physicists--Stephen Hawking ("A Brief History of Time") and Roger Penrose ("The Emperor's New Mind" and "Shadows of the Mind")--disagree. Here they explain their positions in a work based on six lectures with a final debate, all originally presented at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

How could quantum gravity, a theory that could explain the earlier moments of the big bang and the physics of the enigmatic objects known as black holes, be constructed? Why does our patch of the universe look just as Einstein predicted, with no hint of quantum effects in sight? What strange quantum processes can cause black holes to evaporate, and what happens to all the information that they swallow? Why does time go forward, not backward?

In this book, the two opponents touch on all these questions. Penrose, like Einstein, refuses to believe that quantum mechanics is a final theory. Hawking thinks otherwise, and argues that general relativity simply cannot account for how the universe began. Only a quantum theory of gravity, coupled with the no-boundary hypothesis, can ever hope to explain adequately what little we can observe about our universe. Penrose, playing the realist to Hawking's positivist, thinks that the universe is unbounded and will expand forever. The universe can be understood, he argues, in terms of the geometry of light cones, the compression and distortion of spacetime, and by the use of twistor theory. With the final debate, the reader will come to realize how much Hawking and Penrose diverge in their opinions of the ultimate quest to combine quantum mechanics and relativity, and how differently they have tried to comprehend the incomprehensible.

In a new afterword, the authors outline how recent developments have caused their positions to further diverge on a number of key issues, including the spatial geometry of the universe, inflationary versus cyclic theories of the cosmos, and the black-hole information-loss paradox. Though much progress has been made, Hawking and Penrose stress that physicists still have much farther to go in their quest for a quantum theory of gravity.

Specifications

Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr
Publish Date: Feb 2010
ISBN-13: 9780691145709
ISBN-10: 0691145709
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 145
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.55
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.0 x 9.0 x 0.75

About the author

Biography of Hawking, Stephen W.

Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford, England. As a student at Oxford University, Hawking studied Physics, and after three years was awarded a first class honors degree in Natural Science. After gaining a Ph.D. from Cambridge, Hawking became a Research Fellow, and later on a Professional Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. Widely regarded as one of the greatest theoretical physicists since Einstein, Hawking has held the post as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge since 1979. Most famous for his research on black holes, he has written the books A Brief History of Time and Black Holes and Baby Universes, a collection of essays published in 1993. He also authored the books On the Shoulders of Giants, A Briefer History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, and The Grand Design.

Hawking is also the author of numerous articles for scientific papers, has 12 honorary degrees and is a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Hawking was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in his early 20s and is now confined to a wheelchair. He uses a computer device to help him speak. Hawking holds a professorship at the University of Oxford.

Chapter outline

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Classical Theory
Structure of Spacetime Singularities
Quantum Black Holes
Quantum Theory and Spacetime
Quantum Cosmology
The Twistor View of Spacetime
The Debate
Afterword to the 2010 Edition
The Debate Continues
References

Book description

Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. But was he right? Can the quantum theory of fields and Einstein's general theory of relativity, the two most accurate and successful theories in all of physics, be united in a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? On this issue, two of the world's most famous physicists--Stephen Hawking ( A Brief History of Time) and Roger Penrose ( The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind)--disagree. Here they explain their positions in a work based on six lectures with a final debate, all originally presented at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

How could quantum gravity, a theory that could explain the earlier moments of the big bang and the physics of the enigmatic objects known as black holes, be constructed? Why does our patch of the universe look just as Einstein predicted, with no hint of quantum effects in sight? What strange quantum processes can cause black holes to evaporate, and what happens to all the information that they swallow? Why does time go forward, not backward?

In this book, the two opponents touch on all these questions. Penrose, like Einstein, refuses to believe that quantum mechanics is a final theory. Hawking thinks otherwise, and argues that general relativity simply cannot account for how the universe began. Only a quantum theory of gravity, coupled with the no-boundary hypothesis, can ever hope to explain adequately what little we can observe about our universe. Penrose, playing the realist to Hawking's positivist, thinks that the universe is unbounded and will expand forever.

The universe can be understood, he argues, in terms of the geometry of light cones, the compression and distortion of spacetime, and by the use of twistor theory. With the final debate, the reader will come to realize how much Hawking and Penrose diverge in their opinions of the ultimate quest to combine quantum mechanics and relativity, and how differently they have tried to comprehend the incomprehensible.

In a new afterword, the authors outline how recent developments have caused their positions to further diverge on a number of key issues, including the spatial geometry of the universe, inflationary versus cyclic theories of the cosmos, and the black-hole information-loss paradox. Though much progress has been made, Hawking and Penrose stress that physicists still have much farther to go in their quest for a quantum theory of gravity.

Customer Product Reviews

 

Gifting Plans

Financing Offers

Enjoy Great Financing!

Make the most of your shopping experience with the Walmart Discover® or Walmart Credit Card.

Save $25 when you open a Walmart® Credit Card and spend $75 today.*

*Offer subject to credit approval

Learn More or Apply Now

No Payments + No Interest if Paid in Full in 6 Months!
Enjoy no payments for 6 months. You'll have 6 months with no payments, and no interest if paid in full within 6 months on orders over $250. Otherwise, interest will be charged from the original date of purchase. Bill Me Later is the quick, easy, secure way to buy online without using your credit card. Simply select Bill Me Later at checkout. Subject to credit approval.

See Terms