G.W. Gibbons and Stephen Hawking (1942-2018).

‘Classification of Gravitational Instanton Symmetries.’ Offprint from: Communications in Mathematical Physics, 66, 291-310. [Berlin:] Springer-Verlag, 1979. Provenance: the estate of the late Professor Stephen Hawking.

The ‘nuts’ and ‘bolts’ of gravity. In one of the papers that Hawking himself believed to be one of the most important of his scientific legacy the authors classify Gravitational Instantons. For a very dry mathematical paper, the playful and mischievous side of Hawking’s personality comes through in the introduction: ‘Nearly all known gravitational instantons possess continuous symmetry groups of at least two parameters. In this paper we shall give a classification scheme based on the existence of at least one parameter group. This enables us to determine two kinds of basic object, one that we call a “nut” after the self-dual Taub-NUT solution which is the canonical example and the other which we call a “bolt”...’

Octavo (243 x 166mm). Stapled self-wrappers, tape spine (punch holes).

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