During the last 30 years Kip Thorne has had the joy of participating in a great quest. The quest to understand Einstein's general theory of relativity and its predictions about the universe, and the quest to discern where and how Einstein's theory fails and what then replaces it. This quest has lead him through the labyrinths of exotic objects: ...
During the last 30 years Kip Thorne has had the joy of participating in a great quest. The quest to understand Einstein's general theory of relativity and its predictions about the universe, and the quest to discern where and how Einstein's theory fails and what then replaces it. This quest has lead him through the labyrinths of exotic objects: black holes, white dwarfs, neutron stars, singularities, gravitational waves, worm-holes and yes, even time machines. The quest, with its hundreds of participants scattered over the globe has led him to appreciate the international character of science, the different ways that scientific enterprise is organized in different societies, and the inexorable manner in which science bas been intertwined with political currents, especially the Soviet/American conflict. This book is the author's attempts to share these insights with lay readers, and the scientists who work in fields other than his. A book of many interlocking themes held together by a thread of history; the history of the development of our times about curved space and warped time, and most especially black holes.
Publishers Weekly, 1994-02-14 Thorne, the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at CalTech, here offers an accessible, deftly illustrated history of curved spacetime. Covering developments from Einstein to Hawking, he takes his readers to the very edge of theoretical physics: straight through wormholes--and maybe back again--past hyperspace, ``hairless'' wormholes and quantum foam to the leading questions that drive quantum physics. He even addresses the tabloid taunt that has tantalized him since 1988: Do quantum laws allow time travel? (In his foreword, Hawking suggests, ``Maybe someone will come back from the future and tell us the answers.'') Thorne is rigorous, modest and, true to the spirit of science, determined that readers move beyond the appeal of exotic answers and grasp the significance of quantum questions. This volume, a model of style, format and illustration, will speak eloquently to the readership, ranging widely in scientific literacy and interest, that such theoretical physics writers as Hawking and Feynman have established. (Mar.)
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