The Nature of Space and Time: Stephen Hawking & Roger Penrose- 2000

The Nature of Space and Time is a collection of the theories of two greatest theoretical physicists of the age, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose. In the group of essays, the two scientists present their opposing views about the universe from how it originated to its ultimate fate, as well as including concepts of entropy with regards to black holes.

“In a sense the debate between Penrose and Hawking is a continuation of that earlier argument, with Penrose playing the role of Einstein and Hawking that of Bohr.”

Not recommended as a light read, this book includes complex concepts which are meticulously laid out. Fascinating for all scientists and especially physicists, both Hawking and Penrose layout formulas and arguments with the assumption that the reader has a deep understanding of Maths and quantum mechanics.

The two physicists argue concepts such as why time moves forwards instead of backwards, how black holes can evaporate and what happens to the information when they do. While Penrose supports quantum mechanics as a final theory for the origin of the universe, Hawking argues that a quantum theory of gravity and the no-boundary hypothesis can explain the universe, with their final debate expressing their diverging views on the matter.

An educational and fascinating read, ‘The Nature of Space and Time’ is highly recommended to theoretical physicists who wish to gain a ‘fly on the wall’ perspective of two views of the greatest minds in the field.

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