Which of these bizarre phenomena, if any, can really exist in our universe? Black holes, down which anything can fall but from which nothing can return; wormholes, short spacewarps connecting regions of the cosmos; singularities, where space and time are so violently warped that time ceases to exist and space becomes a kind of foam; gravitational waves, which carry symphonic accounts of collisions of black holes billions of years ago; and time machines, for traveling backward and forward in time. Kip Thorne, along with fellow theorists Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, a cadre of Russians, and earlier scientists such as Oppenheimer, Wheeler and Chandrasekhar, has been in the thick of the quest to secure answers. In this masterfully written and brilliantly informed work of scientific history and explanation, Dr. Thorne, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech, leads his readers through an elegant, always human, tapestry of interlocking themes, coming finally to a uniquely informed answer to the great question: what principles control our universe and why do physicists think they know the things they think they know? Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time has been one of the greatest best-sellers in publishing history. Anyone who struggled with that book will find here a more slowly paced but equally mind-stretching experience, with the added fascination of a rich historical and human component. Winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science.
Black Holes & Time Warps reveals the scientific enterprise as very few books do; it richly overflows with history, modern physics, the excitement of discovery, and rare, firsthand scientific styles and temperaments. -- Alan Lightman Superb. It is what many other books about their subject ought to have been and were not.... I think the book itself will be a strong force. -- Carl Sagan Readers seeking to go beyond today's headlines will not find a higher authority (or a better storyteller) to discuss the cosmo's most bizarre features...Masterful and intriguing. -- Marcia Bartusiak - Washington Post Among the best of [its] genre to appear in recent years. -- Malcolm W. Browne - New York Times Book Review Deeply satisfying.... [An] engrossing blend of theory, history, and anecdote. -- Wall Street Journal