Posted on 2012-12-21. By anonymous.
1994 | ISBN: 0517881705 | 256 pages | Djvu | 2 MB
The author of many popular science books, including In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, tells the fascinating story of the theories and discoveries that have led scientists to conclude that black holes and their even stranger cousins, white holes and wormholes, are worthy of serious study.
From Library Journal
Einstein's relativity theory changed forever the way science conceives space and time and remains the source of some of the most exotic concepts of theoretical physics. Among them are intriguing ideas that cosmic objects called "wormholes" connect remote parts of the universe and might be traversable, making it possible to journey through time to distant galaxies, perhaps even to other universes. These two books by scientists both provide substantively similar accounts of the emerging theories and speculate on what it would mean to humanity if travel through space-time should become possible. The styles of the two presentations, however, are quite different. Gribbin, who with the death of Isaac Asimov is probably the most prolific science popularizer today, begins with Isaac Newton and shows how these modern concepts have precursors in past science. He writes of discovery and of the development of theory. Because of this emphasis, Gribbin's book is the more technical and detailed--sometimes difficult but quite rewarding reading. Halpern's book covers much of the same material but not in as great depth and certainly in a livelier, more entertaining style. In this regard, he is particularly skilled at relating these concepts to popular culture; for example, his assessments of the plausibility of some of the technologies encountered in science fiction, from Star Trek to 2001: A Space Odyssey , are very useful in making the arcane concepts of science seem comfortable and familiar. Either book might be appropriate for an undergraduate or public library, although Gribbin's is somewhat better suited for the former and Halpern's the latter. A third recent book, Barry Parker's Cosmic Time Travel (Plenum, 1991), is the most readable and straightforwardly factual of them all and would probably appeal to the broadest cross section of general readers.
- Gregg Sapp, Montana State Univ. Libs., Bozeman
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