Time Travel and Warp Drives: A Scientific Guide to Shortcuts Through Time and Space

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 12/15/2011
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Sci-fi makes it look so easy. Receive a distress call from Alpha Centauri? No problem: punch the warp drive and you're there in minutes. Facing a catastrophe that can't be averted? Just pop back in the timestream and stop it before it starts. But for those of us not lucky enough to live in a science-fictional universe, are these ideas merely flights of fancy-or could it really be possible to travel through time or take shortcuts between stars? Cutting-edge physics may not be able to answer those questions yet, but it does offer up some tantalizing possibilities. In Time Travel and Warp Drives, Allen Everett and Thomas A. Roman take readers on a clear, concise tour of our current understanding of the nature of time and space-and whether or not we might be able to bend them to our will. Using no math beyond high school algebra, the authors lay out an approachable explanation of Einstein's special relativity, then move through the fundamental differences between traveling forward and backward in time and the surprising theoretical connection between going back in time and traveling faster than the speed of light. They survey a variety of possible time machines and warp drives, including wormholes and warp bubbles, and, in a dizzyingly creative chapter, imagine the paradoxes that could plague a world where time travel was possible-killing your own grandfather is only one of them! Written with a light touch and an irrepressible love of the fun of sci-fi scenarios-but firmly rooted in the most up-to-date science, Time Travel and Warp Driveswill be a delightful discovery for any science buff or armchair chrononaut.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. l
Time, Clocks, and Reference Framesp. 10
Lorentz Transformations and Special Relativityp. 22
The Light Conep. 42
Forward Time Travel and the Twin "Paradox"p. 49
"Forward, into the Past"p. 62
The Arrow of Timep. 76
General Relativity: Curved Space and Warped Timep. 89
Wormholes and Warp Bubbles: Beating the Light Barrier and Possible Time Machinesp. 112
Banana Peels and Parallel Worldsp. 136
"Don't Be So Negative": Exotic Matterp. 158
"To Boldly Go..."?p. 181
Cylinders and Stringsp. 196
Epiloguep. 218
Derivation of the Galilean Velocity Transformationsp. 225
Derivation of the Lorentz Transformationsp. 227
Proof of the Invariance of the Spacetime Intervalp. 232
Argument to Show the Orientation of the xĂ,tĂ Axes Relative to the x,t Axesp. 234
Time Dilation via Light Clocksp. 236
Hawking's Theoremp. 241
Light Pipe in the Mailed: Time Machinep. 250
Bibliographyp. 253
Indexp. 259
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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