What is the true nature of space and time? These concepts are at the heart of science, but they remain deeply wrapped in mystery. Both house their structure at the smallest pre-subatomic and the largest cosmological levels continues to defy modern physics and may require revolutionary new ideas for which science is still grasping. This unique volume brings together world leaders in cosmology, particle physics, quantum gravity, mathematics, philosophy and theology, to provide fresh insights into the deep structure of space and time. Andrew Taylor, Shahn Majid, Roger Penrose, Alain Connes, Michael Heller, and John Polkinghorne all experts in their respective fields, explain their theories in this outstanding compiled text.
Preface; 1. The dark universe A. N. Taylor; 2. Quantum spacetime and physical reality S. Majid; 3. Causality, quantum theory and cosmology R. Penrose; 4. On the fine structure of spacetime A. Connes; 5. Where physics meets metaphysics M. Heller; 6. The nature of time J. C. Polkinghorne; Index.
"Physicists normally apply well-established theories without worrying too much about the conceptual underpinnings of their subject. But they should not forget that there are still fundamental mysteries and gaps in our grasp of physical reality. The 'Mount Everest' challenge is to understand the 'bedrock' nature of space and time and to seek a unification of Einstein's relativity and of quantum theory -- of cosmos and microworld: it's being tackeld by a variety of approaches, but none has yet brought us close to the summit. In this book, experts offer -- in generally non technical language -- some distinctive perspectives. The book will interest physicists and philosophers. But it will also be enlightening and fascinating to anyone with an enquiring mind who has ever wondered 'did time have a beginning?', 'is space infinite', 'why are there three dimensions?' or 'does space have an atomic structure'?"
Martin Rees, Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics, University of Cambridge, and author of Gravity’s Fatal Attraction
"The essays are well written and include some very helpful illustrations."
E. Kincanon, Gonzaga University for Choice Magazine
"... an attractive little book, featuring some highly original thinkers. The chapters by Penrose and Connes are especially good and easily worth the price of the book alone."
Dean Rickles, Mathematical Reviews