BLACK HOLES AND TIME WARPS Einstein~ Outrageous Legacy KIP S. THORNE THE FEYNMAN PR.OFESSOR. OF THEOR.ETICAL PHYSICS CALlliORNlAINSTITUTE OF TECH~OLOGY A volume of THE COMMONWEALTH FUND BOOK PROGRAM under the editorship if Lewis Thomas, MD. W · W · NORTON & COMPANY
Contents Foreword by Stephen Hawking Introduction by Frederick Seitz Preface what this book is about, and how to read it Prologue: A Voyage among the Holes in which the reader, in a science fiction tale, encounters black holes and all their strange properties as best we understand them in the 1990.~ 1. The Relativity of Space and Time in which Einstein destroys Newtons conceptions ofspace and time as Absolute 2. The Warping of Space and Time in which Hermann Minkowski unifies space and time, and Einstein warps them 11 1) 17 2J 59 87
8 CONTF..NTS 3. Black Holes Discovered and Rejected in which Einstein~ laws of warped spacetime predict black holes, and Einstein rejects the prediction 4. The Mystery of the White Dwarfs 121 140 in which Eddirt.gton and Charw.rasekhar do bat.zle over the deaths of massive .~tars; must they shrink when they die, creating black holeS:' or will quo.ntum mechanics save them? 5. Implosion Is Compulsory in which even the nuclear force, supposedly the strongest tif all forus, cannot resist the crush of gravity 6. Implosion to What? in uJhich all the armaments of theoretical physics cannot ward off the conclusion: implosion produce.~ black holes 7. The Golden Age in which black holes are found to spin a!Ul pulsate, store energy and release it, and have no hair 8. The Search in wlu."ch a method to search for black holes in the sky is proposed and pursued and succeed.~ (probably) 9. Serendipity in tohich astronomers an forced to conclude, without any· prior prediction.r, that black lwles a millio'!fold heavier than the Sun inhabit the cores of galaxies (probably) 10. Ripples of Curvature in which gravitational wave.~ carry to Earth encoded symphonies of black holes colliding, and physici<;ts devise instruments to monitor the waves and decipher their lymphonies 164 209 258 JOO J22 JJ7
CONTENTS 11. What Is Reality? J97 in which spacetime is t'iewed as curoed on Sundays and .flat on Mondays, and horizons are made .from vacuum on Sundaxs and charge on Mondays, hut Sunday's experiments and Monday's experiments agree in all details 1.2. Black Holes Evaporate in which a black-hole horizon is clothed in an atmosphere of radiation and hot particles that slowly evaporate, and the hole shrinks and then explodes 15. Inside Black Holes in which physicists, wrestlifr€ with Einstein's equation, .feek the secret of what is inside a black Jwle: a route into another universe? a singularity with infinite tidat gravity? the end of space and time, and birth of quantum foam? 14. Wormholes and Time Machines in which the author seeks insight into physical laws by asking: can highly advanced civilizations build wormholes through hyperspace for rapid interstellar travel and machine.~ for travelip:g backward in time?