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Time Reborn
Cover of Time Reborn
Time Reborn
From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe
Borrow Borrow

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.

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.

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About the Author-
  • LEE SMOLIN is a senior faculty member and founder of the Perimeter Institute in Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Ontario. A theoretical physicist and writer, he has greatly contributed to our understanding of space, time and cosmology. A co-inventor of loop quantum gravity and deformed special relativity and the inventor of cosmological natural selection, his work has contributed to the foundations of quantum theory, particle physics, theoretical biology, economics and the philosophy of science. He is a member of the philosophy dept. at U of T. Previously he held faculty positions at Yale, Syracuse and Penn State. On a popular level, he has written 3 previous books which bring to the public his reflections on cosmology and physics. He lives in Toronto with his wife and small son.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 18, 2013
    Contrary to Plato and Einstein, theoretical physicist Smolin (The Trouble with Physics) asserts that “not only is time real, but nothing we know or experience gets closer to the heart of nature than the reality of time.” Though time has always been a quantity to measure, the author explains that in the 17th century, scientists began wondering whether “the world is in essence mathematical or it lives in time.” Newton’s laws of motion made time irrelevant, and “Einstein’s two theories of relativity are, at their most basic, theories of time—or, better, timelessness.” Galileo and Descartes, on the other hand, insisted that time should be regarded as another dimension, and in 1909, mathematician Hermann Minkowski developed the theory of “spacetime,” a feature of the universe shaped by gravity. Smolin asserts that current-day cosmology has hit a wall because physicists refuse to understand that physical laws must “evolve in a real time.” Changing that perspective, he says, will revolutionize everything from string theory to the stock market. Although the distinctions in point of view aren’t always clear, Smolin makes an energetic case for a paradigm shift that could produce mind-boggling changes in the way we experience our world. Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc.

  • Quill & Quire "This is a Big Idea, and one with ramifications ranging from the Big Bang to the end of the universe.... The main thread of the argument...is easily grasped, and stands as a provocative challenge to the present state of what we think we know about the universe."
  • The Boston Globe "Smolin assembles ingenious arguments that the time-is-real version is the fundamental one, bypassing string theory, and explaining built-in aspects of our universe that science cannot otherwise address.... I suspect we're getting a peek here at what the cutting edge of physics a few decades from now is going to look like."
  • The Economist "Smolin makes a compelling case.... For time to be 'real,' in Mr. Smolin's sense, it cannot be relative. But nor can it be absolute in the Newtonian mould, where the future already exists, by dint of inexorable logic. This leads Mr. Smolin to some audacious ideas. He challenges not only Einstein's relativity, but also the very notion of natural laws as immutable truths."
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Time Reborn
Time Reborn
From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe
Lee Smolin
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