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The Nature of Space and Time

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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 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.The authors outline how their positions have further diverged 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 further to go in their quest for a quantum theory of gravity.

Authors: Penrose Roger, Hawking Stephen
Publisher: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS
Pages: 145
ISBN: 9780691168449
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2015

Foreword by Michael Atiyah vii
Acknowledgments ix
CHAPTER ONE Classical Theory, Stephen Hawking 3
CHAPTER TWO Structure of Spacetime Singularities, Roger Penrose 27
CHAPTER THREE Quantum Black Holes, Stephen Hawking 37
CHAPTER FOUR Quantum Theory and Spacetime, Roger Penrose 61
CHAPTER FIVE Quantum Cosmololgy, Stephen Hawking 75
CHAPTER SIX The Twistor View of Spacetime, Roger Penrose 105
CHAPTER SEVEN The Debate, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose 121
AFTERWORD TO THE 2010 EDITION The Debate Continues, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose 139
References 143

Roger Penrose is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their joint contribution to our understanding of the universe.

STEPHEN HAWKING was a brilliant theoretical physicist and is generally considered to have been one of the world’s greatest thinkers. He held the position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of C ambridge for thirty years and is the author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller. His other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universes, The Universe in a Nutshell, The Grand Design and Black Holes: The BBC Reith Lectures. He died on 14 March, 2018.

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