Author: Stephen Hawking
Title: The Universe in a Nutshell
Publisher: Bantam Books Date: Nov. 2001
The introduction repeats Hawking's amazement at how successful his first book, A Brief History of Time, was. It carries a simmilar feeling that is in the introduction to his previous work, Black Holes, Baby Universes, and Other Essays. The layout of the book includes alot more graphics, so it is like the illustrated reprint of A Brief History of Time.
The illustrations are entertaining and informative. It helps make the book more accessable. Hawking's change of written formant and being less dependant on front loading and sequential development makes the book more engaging.
Hawking's discussion on Einstein is refreshingly free of hero worship. He treats einstein and his work with a sense of humanity and warmth of an old friend remaniscing. Also, the description of Einstein's work and it's impact is wonderful.
While I can appreciate the EPR paradox and I can see how the apparent result is governed by the Heisenberg Uncertianty principle, I find it difficult to accept that the pair of particles in a conjoined (entangled) system which are indentical can't give information about each. I find myself thinking that if one measures something on the particles, different qualities at the same time, that it would be possible to work around the Uncertianty principle. I also question how such a system has issues with that principle.
The argument that time and space are essentially the same dimension is one that I'm forced to disagree with. The reason why is because it is possible for a body to remain at the same point in space but not for it to remain at the same point in time while doing so. I believe that time and space re two separate dimensions. I suspect that space and time are ... correlated and that there can be interplay between the two. I do not believe, however, that the motion of a body within time is the same as those of a body within space. One can not move laterally in time, except possibly on the quantum level if bi-location is what I believe it to be. Clearly, we do not have any experimentally recorded evidence of backward motion in time.
I believe, however, that time has a dynamic effect on space and it is possible for space to have sucn an effect on time. These effects would be identified as forces. Also, I can not argue that time is a function of energy or some interplay between forces or quantum particles. Time is fluid. I believe it can fold, loop, and act in many different ways. Space, however, is not as fluid as time. Space is close to the rubber sheet analogy of Hawking's. Time... time is independent of this. It can have an apparent reaction to physical objects, gravitational forces, and space. The apparent effects observes are due to the interactions between space, matter and the forces at play. Time, however, is not impacted, the measurement device (matter) is.
What is needed is a method to observe (or measure) time with a method not influenced by forces that act on space and matter. The photon cloc is the beginning of an appropriate device, with the exception of one thing. A proton has mass, a very small mass, but there is mass. I suspect that if corrections were made for all the Lorenz contractions and the impact of said contraction of mass on the wave form of the photon, one could develop a clock that is dependant on pure energy.
Originally published on Livejournal on 3/25/2006