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Shahn Majid

On Space and Time

Modern Cosmology is telling us ever more about the cosmos, but there is always a quest to go beyond what is known and pose new questions about the nature of the universe. In On Space and Time, edited by Shahn Majid a number of eminent scientists tell of their part in this quest

Andrew Taylor gives an overview of current cosmology, the problems it is facing, and some of the ideas which have been proposed to deal with these problems. Roger Penrose tell of his ideas of a cyclic universe, in which the universe loses track of time in the heat death, which thus becomes a new big bang - this book gives one of the clearest explanations of this process that I have seen. As well as such considerations of the large scale nature of the universe, several contributors consider what space and time are like on the smallest scales. Shahn Majid investigates how geometry might be quantized, and Alain Connes and Michael Heller look at similar ideas, including non-commutative geometry. Heller also examines the religious implications of these ideas, as does John Polkinghorne, who considers how the Creator is affected by time.

There are quite a few equations in this book, but failure to follow these technicalities doesn't detract from following the main points of the arguments. Whether you are coming to the subject from a scientific, a philosophical or a theological viewpoint you will find plenty of stimulating ideas in this book.

Product Description
What is the true nature of space and time? These concepts are at the heart of science, but they remain deeply wrapped in mystery. Both house their structure at the smallest pre-subatomic and the largest cosmological levels continues to defy modern physics and may require revolutionary new ideas for which science is still grasping. This unique volume brings together world leaders in cosmology, particle physics, quantum gravity, mathematics, philosophy and theology, to provide fresh insights into the deep structure of space and time. Andrew Taylor, Shahn Majid, Roger Penrose, Alain Connes, Michael Heller, and John Polkinghorne all experts in their respective fields, explain their theories in this outstanding compiled text.

A note from Simon Capelin, one of scholarly science publishing's leading editors: What is space? What is time? Is space infinite? Does time have a beginning? These questions have fascinated scientists, philosophers and theologians alike for hundreds of years, and the answers continue to elude us today. Current theories fall short of answers to the deeper questions, and the structure of space and time continues to defy modern physics. But the quest to understand the nature of space and time does not just lie with scientists. The search raises theological questions about the nature of physical reality itself, and what it means to exist. So, after more than two thousand years of thought and several hundred years of science, what do we know about the nature of space and time? This question was posed to a panel of six world leaders in physics, mathematics, and theology in a public discussion held at Emmanuel College, Cambridge: Sir Roger Penrose, who has made many remarkable contributions to science; John Polkinghorne KBE, a renowned theologian and particle physicist; Alain Connes, Fields medalist, and one of the world's foremost mathematicians; Michael Heller, a key contributor to the fields of science, theology, and philosophy; Shahn Majid, one of the pioneers in the theory of quantum symmetry; and Andrew Taylor, who has made major contributions in the study of dark matter and dark energy. In this book, each of these very distinguished authors expands on the theories presented at the discussion. They offer their personal perspectives, providing unique insights on this matter, from the structure of spacetime, dark matter, quantum spacetime, and what happened before the Big Bang, to the nature of time, metaphysics, and the philosophical and theological implications of spacetime.