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.
Charting the Course for Elementary Particle Physics
Author: Committee on Elementary Particle Physics in the 21st Century
Publisher: National Academies Press
As part of the Physics 2010 decadal survey project, the National Research Council was asked by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation to recommend priorities for the U.S. particle physics program for the next 15 years. The challenge faced in this study was to identify a compelling leadership role for the United States in elementary particle physics given the global nature of the field and the current lack of a long-term and distinguishing strategic focus. Revealing the Hidden Nature of Space and Time provides an assessment of the scientific challenges in particle physics, including the key questions and experimental opportunities, the current status of the U.S. program and the strategic framework in which it sits and a set of strategic principles and recommendations to sustain a competitive and globally relevant U.S. particle physics program.
There are very few concepts that fascinate equally a theoretical physicist studying black holes and a patient undergoing seriolls mental psychosis. Time, undoubtedly, can well be ranked among them. For the measure of time inside a black hole is no less bizarre than the perception of time by a schizophrenic, who may perceive it as completely "suspended," "standing still," or even "reversing its direction. " The nature of time is certainly shrouded in profound mystery. This, perhaps, since the concept entails multifarious, and occasionally incongruous, facets. No wonder the subject attracts the serious attention of scholars on the one hand, and of the lay public on the other. Our Advanced Research Workshop is an excellent il lustration of this point, as the reader will soon discover. It turned out to be a unique professional forum for an unusually lively, effective and fruitful exchange of ideas and beliefs among 48 participants from 20 countries worldwide, selected out of more than a hundred applicants. The present book is based on the select talks presented at the meeting, and aims to provide the interested layperson and specialist alike with a multidisciplinary sampling of the most up-to-date scholarly research on the nature of time. It represents a coherent, state-of-the-art volume showing that research relevant to this topic is necessarily interdisciplinary and does not ignore such delicate issues as "altered" states of consciousness, religion and metaphysics.
This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of social work find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study Philosophy. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.oxfordbibligraphies.com.
This short and inexpensive volume presents a view of the nature and origin of empty space. The view presented is that our 4-dimensional space-time emerges from the finite group C2 X C2. It is utterly remarkable that of all the infinite number of finite groups only the C2 X C2 group has an emergent geometric space and that this emergent space exactly matches our observed 4-dimensional space-time. The detailed mathematics behind the emergence of our space-time are omitted from this short volume; they are available in other works by this author. It is hoped that this small and inexpensive volume will be easily understood at a non mathematical level. The expansion of the universe is explained as a natural consequence of the nature of our space-time and dark energy is discussed.
The theory of relativity convinced many philosophers that space and time are fundamentally alike, and that they are mere aspects of a more fundamental space-time. Ulrich Meyer argues against this consensus view. Instead of a 'spatial' account of time that treats instants like positions in space, he presents the first comprehensive defense of a 'modal' account that emphasizes the similarities between times and the possible worlds in modal logic. Contrary to popularbelief, such an account does not commit us to the view that there is something metaphysically special about the present moment, and is easily reconciled with the theory of relativity.
This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory. Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo's conceptions of relativity and space-time led to Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Maudlin explains special relativity with enough detail to solve concrete physical problems while presenting general relativity in more qualitative terms. Additional topics include the Twins Paradox, the physical aspects of the Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction, the constancy of the speed of light, time travel, the direction of time, and more. Introduces nonphysicists to the philosophical foundations of space-time theory Provides a broad historical overview, from Aristotle to Einstein Explains special relativity geometrically, emphasizing the intrinsic structure of space-time Covers the Twins Paradox, Galilean relativity, time travel, and more Requires only basic algebra and no formal knowledge of physics
Leibniz’s metaphysics of space and time stands at the centre of his philosophy and is one of the high-water marks in the history of the philosophy of science. In this work, Futch provides the first systematic and comprehensive examination of Leibniz’s thought on this subject. In addition to elucidating the nature of Leibniz’s relationalism, the book fills a lacuna in existing scholarship by examining his views on the topological structure of space and time, including the unity and unboundedness of space and time. It is shown that, like many of his more recent counterparts, Leibniz adopts a causal theory of time where temporal facts are grounded on causal facts, and that his approach to time represents a precursor to non-tensed theories of time. Futch then goes on to situate Leibniz’s philosophy of space and time within the broader context of his idealistic metaphysics and natural theology. Emphasizing the historical background of Leibniz’s thought, the book also places him in dialogue with contemporary philosophy of science, underscoring the enduring philosophical interest of Leibniz’s metaphysics of time and space.