The Nature of Space and Time

The Nature of Space and Time

by Stephen Hawking
     
 

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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 into a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? In The Nature

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Overview

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 into a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? In The Nature of Space and Time, two of the world's most famous physicists-Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time) and Roger Penrose (The Road to Reality)-debate these questions.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Higher Education
A debate between Hawking and Penrose . . . raises the reader's expectations of a lively interaction, and this is fully bourne in the transcribed discussion. . . . Hawking's effervescent sense of humour frequently enlivens the text.
— Joseph Silk
Science
Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "This is an interesting book to read now, but it promises to become an even more interesting book for future generations of physicists.
— Robert M. Wald
New Scientist
This elegant little volume provides a clear account of two approaches to some of the greatest unsolved problems of gravitation and cosmology.
— John Barrow
Boston Book Review
Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "I found great satisfaction and not inconsiderable benefit from my efforts. . . . The clarity and brilliance of Hawking's logic would break through in simple straightforward terms. . . . This provided a real thrill.
— Lucy Horwitz
Toronto Globe & Mail
Praise for Princeton's previous editions:: "If there were such a thing as the World Professional Heavyweight Theory Debating Society, this would be the title bout.
— Christopher Dornan
Physics World
Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "As well as providing an accurate scientific record of the lectures, the text has lost none of the drama of the original occasion, which stemmed from the almost antithetical views of the two protagonists on almost everything except the classical theory of general relativity.
— Gary Gibbons
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This volume contains a series of lectures delivered in 1994 by Hawking (A Brief History of Time) and Penrose (The Emperor's New Mind), renowned professors at Cambridge and Oxford, respectively. The overall topic is how mathematical physics might best represent the realities of the universe. The lectures assume a rather sophisticated knowledge of physics and mathematics. The authors present alternative views on approaching a formulation that fully accommodates both quantum and gravitational (general relativity) theories in physics. One question, for example, is whether parameters in a quantum description of matter can have definite ("real") values before they are measured. The issues extend to cosmological implications and have intriguing philosophical as well as technical aspects. Although well done, the treatment in this book is not for the general reader. Illustrations. (Feb.)
The Times Higher Education Supplement
A debate between Hawking and Penrose ... raises the reader's expectations of a lively interaction, and this is fully borne out in the transcribed discussion.... Hawking's effervescent sense of humour frequently enlivens the text.
— Joseph Silk
New Scientist - John Barrow
Over the past thirty years, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose have done more than anyone to further our understanding of the nature of gravitation and cosmology. . . . The Nature of Space and Time is the result of their attempt to stage a structured dialogue about these problems, to isolate points of disagreement, and stimulate further investigation of these problems. . . . The debate between Hawking and Penrose is a live one between brilliant scientists. . . . This elegant little volume provides a clear account of two approaches to some of the greatest unsolved problems of gravitation and cosmology.
The Times Higher Education Supplement - Joseph Silk
A debate between Hawking and Penrose ... raises the reader's expectations of a lively interaction, and this is fully borne out in the transcribed discussion.... Hawking's effervescent sense of humour frequently enlivens the text.
Toronto Globe & Mail - Christopher Dornan
If there were such a thing as the World Professional Heavyweight Theory Debating Society, this would be the title bout.
Science - Robert M. Wald
This is an interesting book to read now, but it promises to become an even more interesting book for future generations of physicists.
Boston Book Review - Lucy Horwitz
I found great satisfaction and not inconsiderable benefit from my efforts. . . . The clarity and brilliance of Hawking's logic would break through in simple straightforward terms. . . . This provided a real thrill.
Physics World - Gary Gibbons
As well as providing an accurate scientific record of the lectures, the text has lost none of the drama of the original occasion, which stemmed from the almost antithetical views of the two protagonists on almost everything except the classical theory of general relativity.
From the Publisher

"This elegant little volume provides a clear account of two approaches to some of the greatest unsolved problems of gravitation and cosmology."--John Barrow, New Scientist

"A debate between Hawking and Penrose . . . raises the reader's expectations of a lively interaction, and this is fully bourne in the transcribed discussion. . . . Hawking's effervescent sense of humour frequently enlivens the text."--Joseph Silk, Times Higher Education

Praise for Princeton's previous editions:: "If there were such a thing as the World Professional Heavyweight Theory Debating Society, this would be the title bout."--Christopher Dornan, Toronto Globe & Mail

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "This is a very courteous and intellectually stimulating exchange between two first-rate minds."--Library Journal

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "This is an interesting book to read now, but it promises to become an even more interesting book for future generations of physicists."--Robert M. Wald, Science

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "As well as providing an accurate scientific record of the lectures, the text has lost none of the drama of the original occasion, which stemmed from the almost antithetical views of the two protagonists on almost everything except the classical theory of general relativity."--Gary Gibbons, Physics World

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "I found great satisfaction and not inconsiderable benefit from my efforts. . . . The clarity and brilliance of Hawking's logic would break through in simple straightforward terms. . . . This provided a real thrill."--Lucy Horwitz, Boston Book Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691145709
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/28/2010
Series:
Princeton Science Library Series
Edition description:
With a New afterword by the authors
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
613,590
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

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