Time Reborn

Time Reborn

From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
3
1
1
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.

Since the ancients, physicists have argued that time is not real, that we may think we experience time passing but it's just a human illusion in a timeless universe operating on predetermined laws. Lee brilliantly shows how this thinking came about from our deep need for stability and the eternal, but that indeed time may be the only thing that is real.

Since the ancients, physicists have argued that time is not real, that we may think we experience time passing but it's just a human illusion in a timeless universe operating on predetermined laws. Lee brilliantly shows how this thinking came about from our deep need for stability and the eternal, but that indeed time may be the only thing that is real.



Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, 2013
Description: xxxi, 319 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780307400710
Branch Call Number: 115 Smo

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

s
stewstealth
Jul 12, 2017

This book argues for the notion that time is real and not an emergent or an illusion of the Universe. There are many philosophical and scientific claims for time to not being "real", such as the ability to time travel or determinism. This book refutes these arguments and argues for a new cosmological theory that includes time as a foundational aspect. Worth reading if you are interested in the subject.

m
MICHAEL JAY WITT
Sep 20, 2013

First of all, I should say that I have really enjoyed (and learned things) from each of Smolin's previous books. Clearly he takes a "minority" position on many questions in physics. But I've found his books to be well above the norm for "popular" physics books. I like his thinking, and I like his writing -- independent of how I might feel about his conclusions.

I was disappointed in this book. I think the fundamental problem was the intended unifying theme of the book, that "time is real" (whatever that might mean). For me, this "theme" obscured rather than illuminated the contents of the book. I *think* the actual position he is taking is that strict determinism fails, and that the future is (at least partially) open, rather than being completely determined by the past. I didn't see how he ever explained: (1) What the word "real" means in this context, (2) why time is any less "real" in the standard reading of relativity than in his reading, or (2) how either 1 or 2 relates to the question of determinism.

As far as I can tell, there are two threads being pursued. One is the scientific question of determinism. The other is the human emotional impact of our beliefs or mental models regarding determinism (and related factors). I believe these are both very important questions. I believe Smolin has something meaningful to say about both of them. I do *not* believe they are the same question, and I think he confuses things by conflating the two. At least he confused me :-)

A further minor criticism: You might get the impression from this book that (for example) string theory and loop quantum gravity are considered to be theories on equal footing by the physics community in general. I'm pretty sure this is not the case. I think Smolin did a better job in his previous books, in separating his viewpoint from others.

Is this book worth reading? Well ... yes, of course. In fact, I'm personally of the opinion that any of Smolin's book are "worth it" for the references alone. I learned a couple of things, and found many interesting "pointers" here. But overall I felt let down.

o
op_ed
Sep 07, 2013

Smolin begins to make a case for a paradigm shift in the way we look at physics, cosmology, etc., but I was left with the nagging sensation that he needed to go just a bit further to clinch his case.

It might be that I lack the math and physics background to fully appreciate the fundamental point he is making, or that he had to leave out the most convincing facts or arguments because the book is addressed at those who don't have that background.

If he's right, though, it changes everything. Worth reading, especially if you've already been reading Steven Hawking's popular works, or Feinman, or...

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

s
ShaerysVPL
Dec 11, 2014

ShaerysVPL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at BPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top