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The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implicationsby David Deutsch
Synopses & Reviews
From one of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals, a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos
What is time?
This deceptively simple question is the single most important problem facing science as we probe more deeply into the fundamentals of the universe. All of the mysteries physicists and cosmologists faceand#8212;from the Big Bang to the future of the universe, from the puzzles of quantum physics to the unification of forces and particlesand#8212;come down to the nature of time.
The fact that time is real may seem obvious. You experience it passing every day when you watch clocks tick, bread toast, and children grow. But most physicists, from Newton to Einstein to todayand#8217;s quantum theorists, have seen things differently. The scientific case for time being an illusion is formidable. That is why the consequences of adopting the view that time is real are revolutionary.
Lee Smolin, author of the controversial bestseller The Trouble with Physics, argues that a limited notion of time is holding physics back. Itand#8217;s time for a major revolution in scientific thought. The reality of time could be the key to the next big breakthrough in theoretical physics.
What if the laws of physics themselves were not timeless? What if they could evolve? Time Reborn offers a radical new approach to cosmology that embraces the reality of time and opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. There are few ideas that, like our notion of time, shape our thinking about literally everything, with huge implications for physics and beyondand#8212;from climate change to the economic crisis. Smolin explains in lively and lucid prose how the true nature of time impacts our world.
One of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals offers a radical new view of the nature of time, and explores its implications for everything from physics and cosmology to economics and climate change.
Deutsch's pioneering and accessible book integrates recent advances in theoretical physics and computer science to explain and connect many topics at the leading edge of current research and thinking, such as quantum computers, and physics of time travel, and the ultimate fate of the universe.
For David Deutsch, a young physicist of unusual originality, quantum theory contains our most fundamental knowledge of the physical world. Taken literally, it implies that there are many universes “parallel” to the one we see around us. This multiplicity of universes, according to Deutsch, turns out to be the key to achieving a new worldview, one which synthesizes the theories of evolution, computation, and knowledge with quantum physics. Considered jointly, these four strands of explanation reveal a unified fabric of reality that is both objective and comprehensible, the subject of this daring, challenging book. The Fabric of Reality explains and connects many topics at the leading edge of current research and thinking, such as quantum computers (which work by effectively collaborating with their counterparts in other universes), the physics of time travel, the comprehensibility of nature and the physical limits of virtual reality, the significance of human life, and the ultimate fate of the universe. Here, for scientist and layperson alike, for philosopher, science-fiction reader, biologist, and computer expert, is a startlingly complete and rational synthesis of disciplines, and a new, optimistic message about existence.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 367-) and index.
About the Author
David Deutsch, internationally acclaimed for his seminal publications on quantum computation, is a member of the Quantum Computation and Cryptography Research Group at the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford University.
Table of Contents
1. The Theory of Everything
4. Criteria for Reality
5. Virtual Reality
6. Universality and the Limits of Computation
7. A Conversation about Justification
8. The Significance of Life
9. Quantum Computers
10. The Nature of Mathematics
11. Time: The First Quantum Concept
12. Time Travel
13. The Four Strands
14. The Ends of the Universe
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