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Publisher's Summary

Where will the science of black holes, gravitational waves, and time travel lead us? Our minds tell us that some things in the universe must be true. The new physics tells us that they are not, and in the process it blurs the line between science and science fiction. Here are five accessible essays by those who walk that line, moving ever further out in discovering the patterns of nature, aimed at listeners who share their fascination with the deepest mysteries of the universe.

  • Stephen W. Hawking: Chronology Protection
    Our fantasies of time travel and why they probably violate physical laws that we have yet to discover.

  • Kip S. Thorne: Speculations About the Future
    What we might expect to discover about general relativity and its interface with quantum theory in the new century.

  • Igor Novikov: Can We Change the Past?
    An exploration of the problems time machines pose to logic and free will.

  • Timothy Ferris: On the Popularization of Science
    How scientists can communicate to the public the new, often counterintuitive ideas of spacetime.

  • Alan Lightman: The Physicist as Novelist
    The creative similarities of and differences between working in theoretical physics and writing fiction.

    The Future of Spacetime is also available in print from W.W. Norton & Company.

  • Executive Producer: Dan Zitt
    Producer: Lisa Cahn
    Adapted by Lisa Cahn
    Original jacket design: Calvin Chu
    Original jacket photograph: ©2001 by Don Dixon/Cosmographica.com
    ©2002 California Institute of Technology
    (P)2002 Random House, Inc.

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    • Overall

    very interesting

    I didn't understand much of Stephen Hawking's contribution at all but the others were very interesting. I particularly enjoyed Kip Thorne's piece and listened to it twice. I found some lecture notes of his on line that complimented this essay well. I'm not a physicist (or anything even close) but find this field utterly fascinating. I couldn't follow every equation and concept discussed, and I used the reverse button quite a bit, but I learned a lot. It was well worth it.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Steve
    • Port Jefferson, NY, USA
    • 01-09-05

    Don't waste your space or your time

    Unless you've gone back to the past and have absoutely nothing better to do then skip this. Very disjointed and I love all physicics things.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful