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The New Time Travelers: A Journey to the Frontiers of Physics

by

The New Time Travelers: A Journey to the Frontiers of Physics Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


The story of physicists' quest to answer a mind-boggling question: How can we travel through time?

Most of us have read H. G. Wells's classic The Time Machine, keeping its subject and all other whirring, light-flashing, time-travel devices safely relegated to the realm of fiction. But for decades theoretical physicists, astrophysicists, and philosophers have delved into the reality of time travel, the "how" of traveling through time. Kip Thorne, Carl Sagan, and Steven Hawking (leaders in their fields) are among the new time travelers who, calling on special and general relativity and quantum mechanics, have designed theoretical bases for a variety of time machines.

David Toomey brings these brilliant minds to life as they confront temporal paradoxes and questions of free will, probe black holes and time warps, conceive of parallel universes, and imagine a civilization with the power to send signals into the past. In so doing, Toomey takes the reader on a mind-bending adventure to the very edge of physics.

Review:

"According to Toomey, professor of English who teaches technical and nonfiction writing at the University of Massachusetts — Amherst, the concept of time travel successfully made the transition from science fiction to the research literature of physics about 20 years ago. This is not to say that physicists uncritically accept the idea but simply that it is now a topic for rigorous scientific discussion. Because Toomey (Stormchasers) spends as much time describing the personalities of those investigating this odd field as he does the subject's technical aspects, he is able to bring the topic fully to life. The contributions made by Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and Kip Thorne, in addition to other lesser-known physicists, are described, but even the author's fine writing is not able to make all of the highly technical material easily understood. Given that time travel, if it can occur at all, is likely to involve wormholes and worldlines, multiverses and Minkowski diagrams, as well as negative energy and naked singularities, this is not surprising. Toomey is at his best treating the many paradoxes that time travel engenders and exploring the ways around them, from Hawking's "chronology protection conjecture" to David Deutsch's creation of multiple universes. While physicists have, to date, been unable to demonstrate that any laws of nature make time travel impossible, Toomey makes it clear that we shouldn't expect to make such a trip any time soon. 15 illus. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'According to Toomey, professor of English who teaches technical and nonfiction writing at the University of Massachusetts — Amherst, the concept of time travel successfully made the transition from science fiction to the research literature of physics about 20 years ago. This is not to say that physicists uncritically accept the idea but simply that it is now a topic for rigorous scientific discussion. Because Toomey (Stormchasers) spends as much time describing the personalities of those investigating this odd field as he does the subject's technical aspects, he is able to bring the topic fully to life. The contributions made by Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and Kip Thorne, in addition to other lesser-known physicists, are described, but even the author's fine writing is not able to make all of the highly technical material easily understood. Given that time travel, if it can occur at all, is likely to involve wormholes and worldlines, multiverses and Minkowski diagrams, as well as negative energy and naked singularities, this is not surprising. Toomey is at his best treating the many paradoxes that time travel engenders and exploring the ways around them, from Hawking's 'chronology protection conjecture' to David Deutsch's creation of multiple universes. While physicists have, to date, been unable to demonstrate that any laws of nature make time travel impossible, Toomey makes it clear that we shouldn't expect to make such a trip any time soon. 15 illus. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Long a topic of speculation for science fiction, the possibility of time travel has in more recent years become a more serious subject of study for theoretical physics, based on work in special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, and provisional models of quantum gravity. Toomey (technical and nonfiction writing, U. of Massachusetts-Amherst) summarizes these efforts for a general audience. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The story of physicists' quest to answer a mind-boggling question: How can we travel through time?

Synopsis:

Toomey brings the brilliant minds of Kip Thorne, Carl Sagan, and Steven Hawking to life as they confront temporal paradoxes and questions of free will, probe black holes and time warps, conceive of parallel universes, and imagine a civilization with the power to send signals into the past.

Synopsis:

Since H. G. Wells' 1895 classic , readers of science fiction have puzzled over the paradoxes of time travel. What would happen if a time traveler tried to change history? Would some force or law of nature prevent him? Or would his action produce a "new" history, branching away from the original?In the last decade of the twentieth century a group of theoretical physicists at the California Institute of Technology undertook a serious investigation of the possibility of pastward time travel, inspiring a serious and sustained study that engaged more than thirty physicists working at universities and institutes around the world.Many of the figures involved are familiar: Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne; others are names known mostly to physicists. These are the new time travelers, and this is the story of their work--a profoundly human endeavor marked by advances, retreats, and no small share of surprises. It is a fantastic journey to the frontiers of physics.

About the Author

David Toomey teaches technical writing and nonfiction writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393060133
Author:
Toomey, David
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Time
Subject:
Time travel
Subject:
Science Reference-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
July 2007
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15 illustrations
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Nutshell » General
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Reference » Science Reference » General
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Science and Mathematics » Physics » Popular

The New Time Travelers: A Journey to the Frontiers of Physics Used Hardcover
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Product details 400 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393060133 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "According to Toomey, professor of English who teaches technical and nonfiction writing at the University of Massachusetts — Amherst, the concept of time travel successfully made the transition from science fiction to the research literature of physics about 20 years ago. This is not to say that physicists uncritically accept the idea but simply that it is now a topic for rigorous scientific discussion. Because Toomey (Stormchasers) spends as much time describing the personalities of those investigating this odd field as he does the subject's technical aspects, he is able to bring the topic fully to life. The contributions made by Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and Kip Thorne, in addition to other lesser-known physicists, are described, but even the author's fine writing is not able to make all of the highly technical material easily understood. Given that time travel, if it can occur at all, is likely to involve wormholes and worldlines, multiverses and Minkowski diagrams, as well as negative energy and naked singularities, this is not surprising. Toomey is at his best treating the many paradoxes that time travel engenders and exploring the ways around them, from Hawking's "chronology protection conjecture" to David Deutsch's creation of multiple universes. While physicists have, to date, been unable to demonstrate that any laws of nature make time travel impossible, Toomey makes it clear that we shouldn't expect to make such a trip any time soon. 15 illus. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'According to Toomey, professor of English who teaches technical and nonfiction writing at the University of Massachusetts — Amherst, the concept of time travel successfully made the transition from science fiction to the research literature of physics about 20 years ago. This is not to say that physicists uncritically accept the idea but simply that it is now a topic for rigorous scientific discussion. Because Toomey (Stormchasers) spends as much time describing the personalities of those investigating this odd field as he does the subject's technical aspects, he is able to bring the topic fully to life. The contributions made by Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and Kip Thorne, in addition to other lesser-known physicists, are described, but even the author's fine writing is not able to make all of the highly technical material easily understood. Given that time travel, if it can occur at all, is likely to involve wormholes and worldlines, multiverses and Minkowski diagrams, as well as negative energy and naked singularities, this is not surprising. Toomey is at his best treating the many paradoxes that time travel engenders and exploring the ways around them, from Hawking's 'chronology protection conjecture' to David Deutsch's creation of multiple universes. While physicists have, to date, been unable to demonstrate that any laws of nature make time travel impossible, Toomey makes it clear that we shouldn't expect to make such a trip any time soon. 15 illus. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The story of physicists' quest to answer a mind-boggling question: How can we travel through time?
"Synopsis" by , Toomey brings the brilliant minds of Kip Thorne, Carl Sagan, and Steven Hawking to life as they confront temporal paradoxes and questions of free will, probe black holes and time warps, conceive of parallel universes, and imagine a civilization with the power to send signals into the past.
"Synopsis" by , Since H. G. Wells' 1895 classic , readers of science fiction have puzzled over the paradoxes of time travel. What would happen if a time traveler tried to change history? Would some force or law of nature prevent him? Or would his action produce a "new" history, branching away from the original?In the last decade of the twentieth century a group of theoretical physicists at the California Institute of Technology undertook a serious investigation of the possibility of pastward time travel, inspiring a serious and sustained study that engaged more than thirty physicists working at universities and institutes around the world.Many of the figures involved are familiar: Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne; others are names known mostly to physicists. These are the new time travelers, and this is the story of their work--a profoundly human endeavor marked by advances, retreats, and no small share of surprises. It is a fantastic journey to the frontiers of physics.
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