, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 4–19 | Cite as

Space and Time: From Antiquity to Einstein and Beyond

  • Abhay Ashtekar
General Article


At the beginning of the 20th century, Einstein revolutionized the notions of space and time, first through special relativity and then, a decade later, through general relativity. Conceptual ideas underlying general relativity are explained and its physical ramifications summarized in general terms, without recourse to advanced mathematics. This theory is perhaps the most sublime creation of the human mind. Nonetheless, it has become increasingly clear that it too has serious limitations which can be overcome only through another dramatic revision of our notions of space and time. The article concludes by providing glimpses of what awaits us in the 21st century.


Relativity Big Bang black holes quantum gravity 


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Suggested Reading

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    A Ashtekar, inThe Universe: Visions and Perspective, N Dadhich and A Kembhavi, eds, Kluwer Academic, Dodrecht, 2000; also available as grqc/9901023.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentInstitute tor Gravitational Physics and GeometryPenn State, University ParkUSA
  2. 2.Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and AstrophysicsPuneIndia
  3. 3.Institute for Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of UtrechtCC UtrechtThe Netherlands

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