Matt Visser: Book

Lorentzian Wormholes: from Einstein to Hawking

by Matt Visser,

(Victoria University of Wellington).

Cover: Lorentzian Wormholes

Brief Description:

From H. G. Wells to Star Trek, audiences have been captivated by the notions of time travel and space warps. But science fiction is not the only place where such concepts thrive. An active group of general relativists and quantum-field theorists has produced a considerable body of serious mathematical and physical analyses of "wormholes"--shortcuts through space and time. These postulated distortions in the fabric of spacetime connect distant regions of the maybe even different universes. Now, with this fascinating book, readers can explore the science behind the science fiction. The general theoretical framework for the discussion of wormholes is quantum gravity, a still-developing field that lies in the uncharted territory between general relativity and quantum field theory. Drawing on pivotal work by Albert Einstein, John A. Wheeler, Stephen Hawking, and others, Matt Visser shows that by pushing established physical theories to their limits, it is possible to deduce the properties of wormholes to reveal such exotic phenomena as faster-than-light travel and time travel.

This monograph uses the general framework of Einstein gravity plus quantum physics to extract as much reliable (?) information as possible about such exotic (and speculative) objects as wormholes in spacetime, baby universes, time machines and time travel. The discussion includes traversable wormholes, the various energy conditions, Novikov's consistency condition, Hawking's chronology protection conjecture, and more...

Table of contents:

Chapter 0    Preface                               vii   

Part i ---  Background                               1   

Chapter 1    Introduction                            3   
Chapter 2    General relativity                      9   
Chapter 3    Quantum field theory                   31   
Chapter 4    Units and natural scales               39   

Part ii --  History                                 43   

Chapter 5    The Einstein--Rosen bridge             45   
Chapter 6    Spacetime foam                         53   
Chapter 7    The Kerr wormhole                      75   
Chapter 8    The cosmological constant              81   
Chapter 9    Wormhole taxonomy                      89   
Chapter 10   Interregnum                            95   

Part iii -  Renaissance                             97   

Chapter 11   Traversable wormholes                  99   
Chapter 12   Energy conditions                     115   
Chapter 13   Engineering considerations            137   
Chapter 14   Thin shells: Formalism                153   
Chapter 15   Thin shells: Wormholes                165   
Chapter 16   Topological censorship                195   

Part iv --  Time Travel                            201   

Chapter 17   Chronology: Basic notions             203   
Chapter 18   From wormhole to time machine         227   
Chapter 19   Response to the paradoxes             249   

Part v ---  Quantum Effects                        277   

Chapter 20   Semiclassical quantum gravity         279   
Chapter 21   van Vleck determinants: Formalism     295   
Chapter 23   Singularity structure                 333   
Chapter 24   Minisuperspace wormholes              347   

Part vi --  Reprise                                367   

Chapter 25   Where we stand                        369   

Publisher information:

AIP logo

Originally published by:
American Institute of Physics Press (Woodbury, New York).
AIP Press was subsequently (as of May 1997) acquired by Springer-Verlag.
General homepage: [Beware of buggy html code]

Snail-Mail:  Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., 
             175 Fifth Avenue, 
             New York, NY 10010, USA.
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Hardback version:
ISBN 1-56396-394-9; 412 pages (including index and 38 figures);
US$59.00 (Now out of stock).

Paperback version:
ISBN 1-56396-653-0; 412 pages (including index and 38 figures);
US$39.95 (2002 reprint).
Website--- [Beware of buggy html code]
To order---
Voice: 1-800-SPRINGER; FAX: 1-201-348-4505; E-mail:;
Third printing October 1997.
Fourth printing April 2002.

Available at selected bookstores (in the US try, for instance, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Follets, Micro Center...).

Also available via the net. Compare prices/shipping/taxes at:
Including taxes and shippng, you should be able to get it for about US$35.00.

Orders Outside the U.S./Canada/Mexico: Contact the Springer head offices in Germany:

Other information:

Research Interests
Horizon: The Time Lords

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