What happens when something is sucked into a black hole? Does it disappear? Three decades ago, a young physicist named Stephen Hawking claimed it did, and in doing so put at risk everything we know about physics and the fundamental laws of the universe. Most scientists didn't recognize the import of Hawking's claims, but Leonard Susskind and Gerard t'Hooft realized the threat, and responded with a counterattack that changed the course of physics.
The Black Hole War is the thrilling story of their united effort to reconcile Hawking's revolutionary theories of black holes with their own sense of reality -- effort that would eventually result in Hawking admitting he was wrong, paying up, and Susskind and t'Hooft realizing that our world is a hologram projected from the outer boundaries of space.
A brilliant book about modern physics, quantum mechanics, the fate of stars and the deep mysteries of black holes, Leonard Susskind's account of the Black Hole War is mind-bending and exhilarating reading.
Bets made over a beer between scientists rarely make the headlines, but in 2004 Stephen Hawking conceded that he'd lost a bet and that a view he had held for 30 years was wrong. According to Stanford physicist Susskind (The Cosmic Landscape), one of the leaders of the anti-Hawking camp, the argument was a simple one: if information falls into a black hole, is it lost forever? Hawking's theory that information is destroyed undermined everything scientists thought they knew about quantum physics. Susskind gives readers a course in black holes, quantum physics and string theory as he explains his belief that information cannot be destroyed. Along the way he introduces bizarre theories like the Holographic Principle (which he helped develop), claiming that the third dimension is an illusion and that energy and matter are just forms of information. Susskind also profiles two hot-shot South American physicists who helped deliver the coup de grace to Hawking's argument. Black hole and Hawking fans should go for this book, even if the great physicist was wrong. B&w illus.
Must Read for Physicists
Outstanding in depth discussion of black holes, string theory, and particle (wave) physics.
The Black Hole War
A brilliant discussion of the very complicated subject of entropy, energy, gravity, quantuum mechanics and the modern mathematics being developed and applied to address theoretical quantuum gravitiy and the search for a unifiing theory for all of physics. The book traces the fascinating story of thoretical physicists' attempts to understand black holes at a level that demystifies the process that has been imbedded in a very deep mathematical discussion and lost to the public for over twenty years. A must read for anyone with a curious scientific background who want to learn how physics and mathematics has evolved over the last half century.
Great For Enthusiasts
A great book in the sense that it helps us visualize the strange concepts of the complicated physics that it talks about through the use of some clever analogies... If you enjoyed books such as "The Universe In a Nutshell", you're certainly going to like this.
It makes us simple humans feel capable of questioning some very advanced physics.