Examines the question of whether the quantum theory of fields and Einstein's theory of relativity, the two most accurate and successful theories thus far in physics, can be united in a single quantum theory of gravity. Hawking and Penrose, two of the age's greatest physicists disagree - Hawking says yes, Penrose no. Their arguments were fleshed out in the Isaac Newton Institute Lectures and a final debate, all conducted at the University of Cambridge.
<LI>Classical Theory (Hawking) <LI> Structure of Spacetime Singularities (Penrose) <LI> Quantum Black Holes (Hawking) <LI> Quantum Theory and Spacetime (Penrose) <LI> Quantum Cosmology (Hawking) <LI> The Twistor View of Spacetime (Penrose) <LI> The Debate (Hawking and Penrose)
Stephen Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Roger Penrose is the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford.
Over the past thirty years, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose have done more than anyone to further our understanding of the nature of gravitation and cosmology... The Nature of Space and Time is the result of their attempt to stage a structured dialogue about these problems, to isolate points of disagreement, and stimulate further investigation of these problems... The debate between Hawking and Penrose is a live one between brilliant scientists... This elegant little volume provides a clear account of two approaches to some of the greatest unsolved problems of gravitation and cosmology. -- John Barrow New Scientist A debate between Hawking and Penrose ... raises the reader's expectations of a lively interaction, and this is fully borne out in the transcribed discussion... Hawking's effervescent sense of humour frequently enlivens the text. -- Joseph Silk The Times Higher Education Supplement If there were such a thing as the World Professional Heavyweight Theory Debating Society, this would be the title bout. -- Christopher Dornan Toronto Globe & Mail This is an interesting book to read now, but it promises to become an even more interesting book for future generations of physicists. -- Robert M. Wald Science I found great satisfaction and not inconsiderable benefit from my efforts... The clarity and brilliance of Hawking's logic would break through in simple straightforward terms... This provided a real thrill. -- Lucy Horwitz Boston Book Review As well as providing an accurate scientific record of the lectures, the text has lost none of the drama of the original occasion, which stemmed from the almost antithetical views of the two protagonists on almost everything except the classical theory of general relativity. -- Gary Gibbons Physics World This is a very courteous and intellectually stimulating exchange between two first-rate minds. Library Journal