This book explores the idea of time travel from the first account in English literature to the latest theories of physicists such as Kip Thorne and Igor Novikov. This very readable work covers a variety of topics including: the history of time travel in fiction; the fundamental scientific concepts of time, spacetime, and the fourth dimension; the speculations of Einstein,This book explores the idea of time travel from the first account in English literature to the latest theories of physicists such as Kip Thorne and Igor Novikov. This very readable work covers a variety of topics including: the history of time travel in fiction; the fundamental scientific concepts of time, spacetime, and the fourth dimension; the speculations of Einstein, Richard Feynman, Kurt Goedel, and others; time travel paradoxes, and much more....
|Number of Pages||:||628 Pages|
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Time Machines Reviews
Philosophers and physicists have tackled the idea of time travel from one angle, trying to establish what’s technically or logically possible, what’s forbidden, and why, while science fiction writers have gone at it from another, exploring the dramatic and thematic possibilities. In this book, Paul Nahin has attempted the difficult task of surveying both viewpoints, the factual and the fictional.For me the book is problematic in some respects. Nahin attempts to draw some conclusions about the science and the philosophy as he goes, but sometimes these felt poorly founded. And his discussion is sometimes a little cloudy. In reading it, I often wished I were in a classroom where I could ask questions. For instance: What exactly is the difference being changing the past, which Nahin says most thinkers have now ruled out, and merely affecting it, which they believe is allowed? (Note that I read the original, 1993 edition, not the revised and expanded second edition.)Nonetheless, a vast amount of research has been summarized in this book, ranging from old pulp-magazine stories to scientific papers that were still recent at the time Nahin completed the text. In effect, the book is two surveys in one—combining an overview of the fictional literature with an account of the scientific and (less thoroughly) the philosophical literature—and that makes this a doubly valuable reference. Other writers have done a better job of explicating some of the concepts here, but as far as I can tell, there is no other book like this.Side note: I read this as background for a play involving time travel.
Reading this book is like spending hours upon hours with some kind of physics dissertation that tries to use science fiction to prove the possibility of time travel. The catch is that dissertations usually contain clear hypotheses and proofs, whereas this book goes almost nowhere for 300 pages.Instead of spelling out concepts, author Paul Nahin instead references entire works inline without any context, as though the reader ought to have digested the entire body of science fiction works on his topics prior to picking up his book. There are ample notes to accompany his text, but these are more of a distraction than guidance when navigating his chaos.Finally, after pages and pages of exposition and postulation that go apparently nowhere, the book wraps up with a series of "Tech Notes" (presumably intended to provide more concrete and organized information about the theories surrounding time travel and faster-than-light speeds) that replace poorly-utilized literary references with advanced (for the lay person the former portion of this book might attract) mathematics that leaves one feeling stupefied rather than at ease with any clear conclusion.To be fair to Mr. Nahin, the topics he approaches are advanced exercises in physics and philosophy, and there are aspects of the book that effectively lead the reader into flights of fancy and awestruck speculation; unfortunately, these are as rare in his work as stable wormholes in the universe.
Paul Nahin seems to have read almost every thing that every philosopher, theologian, physicist, mathematician and SF or fantasy writer ever wrote about time travel, time reversal, the fourth dimension and the arrow of time, and he thoroughly discusses how those concepts have developed over the centuries. He is a physicist himself and takes the view that time travel, if it is possible, would fulfill the consistency principle (so that future events could be the cause of past events, but could not change past events) but he fairly considers the opinions of those that believe that time travel is impossible because of the "grandfather" paradox, and discusses many stories in which the past is changed. I read the 2nd edition of this book, and I'm looking forward to taking some time to send the author an email with some suggestions for the third edition (and with some corrections for a few typos). If you are interested in the history of time travel, this is the book to read.
This book is awesome.I must say much of the science is beyond me and I found this book to be a difficult read. But totally worth it. Nahin is an entertaining writer, even when discussing the more obscure aspects of special relativity and the theoretical potential for the impossible. Fascinating. Via this book I was introduced to the 'time loaf' concept, which seems to me the most plausible theory of the nature of time. Through this book also I got to re-think my own idea of free will. And even if it's a bit silly, it's exciting to consider time travel and other impossible ideas in the context of real live experimental science.If you have an interest in science and a bit of an overactive imagination, I expect you will enjoy this book as much as I did.
I was expecting more of a physics book when I first opened this but it turned out to be moreso about all the stories of time travel throughout writing history. It mentions tons of references for books, movies, and television shows that centered on time travel and includes a lot of trivia info you probably otherwise wouldn't have known.It does cover the real science of time travel fairly well as well and the technical appendices are a temporal mechanics student's best friend.
Fantastic book if you are interested in both the physics of time travel and the science fiction of time machines. Find out which stories are consistent with modern physics and which must be classified as total fantasy. Anything that is entertaining to read and has led me to happy new encounters gets 5 stars in my book. Without this I would probably never have seen Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
Fizik bilimiyle daha önce ilgilenmemiş okurlara hitap etmeyecektir. Diğerleri ise severek okuyacaklar.
I always wanted to write this book and now the pleasure of discovering it more than makes up for that broken dream.