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Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Timeby J. Richard Gott
Synopses & Reviews
Time travel in Newton?s universe was inconceivable, but in Einstein?s universe it has become a possibility. J. Richard Gott III, a Princeton astrophysicist who is a leading researcher in the field, gives readers a guided tour of the potential of traveling through time. Although scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne have previously considered the topic, the delightfully refreshing ? but scrupulously careful ? Gott goes light-years beyond them in his exploration of this exciting idea. Gott begins by describing how the finest science fiction about time travel has inspired some of today?s top scientific ideas on the subject. He goes on to explain how travel to the future is not only possible but has actually happened (astronauts have aged a bit less than we whose feet have stayed solidly on earth), and he examines whether travel to the past might also be possible, given certain physical conditions. He then offers up his most stunning material: the study of time travel can be used to discover whether the universe could have created itself. Finally, asserting that no book on time travel would be complete without a report from the future, Gott predicts the span of human existence, based on a scientific technique he has developed. His conclusion is humbling but wondrous: just in the short time we have lived so far, consider how much we have already learned about the universe. Time Travel in Einstein's Universe is a book to read not only for its extraordinary subject matter and scientific brilliance but for its joyful writing.
Book News Annotation:
Gott (astrophysical sciences, Princeton U.) takes some time out from his work to write for a general audience—at least for those willing to enter the head-spinning domain of time travel speculation. He begins with the dream of time travel as it's explored in science fiction and then explains the scientific investigation such dreaming has inspired. The treatment is genial and engaging for the most part but is somewhat uneven in its expectations of readers' technical knowledge.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this fascinating book, the renowned astrophysicist J. Richard Gott leads time travel out of the world of H. G. Wells and into the realm of scientific possibility. Building on theories posited by Einstein and advanced by scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne, Gott explains how time travel can actually occur. He describes, with boundless enthusiasm and humor, how travel to the future is not only possible but has already happened, and he contemplates whether travel to the past is also conceivable. Notable not only for its extraordinary subject matter and scientific brilliance, Time Travel in Einsteins Universe is a delightful and captivating exploration of the surprising facts behind the science fiction of time travel.
About the Author
J. RICHARD GOTT III is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. For fourteen years he served as the chairman of the judges of the National Westinghouse and Intel Science Talent Search, the premier science competition for high school students. The recipient of the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching, Gott has written on time travel for Time and on other topics for Scientific American, New Scientist, and American Scientist.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments · ix
Preface · xi
1. Dreaming of Time Travel · 3
2. Time Travel to the Future · 33
3. Time Travel to the Past · 76
4. Time Travel and the Beginning of the Universe · 131
5. Report from the Future · 200
Notes · 243
Annotated References · 265
Index · 277
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