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New Trade Paper
Available April 08, 2014
Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universeby Lee Smolin
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 face—from the Big Bang to the future of the universe, from the puzzles of quantum physics to the unification of forces and particles—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 todays 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. Its 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 beyond—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.
"If you are looking for a bracing alternative vision of physics built from the ground up, Smolin's Time Reborn will take you to the mountaintop." — NPR
What is time?
It’s the sort of question we rarely ask because it seems so obvious. And yet, to a physicist, time is simply a human construct and an illusion. If you could somehow get outside the universe and observe it from there, you would see that every moment has always existed and always will. Lee Smolin disagrees, and in Time Reborn he lays out the case why.
Recent developments in physics and cosmology point toward the reality of time and the openness of the future. Smolin’s groundbreaking theory postulates that physical laws can evolve over time and the future is not yet determined. Newton’s fundamental laws may not remain so fundamental. Time Reborn serves as a popular primer and investigation of time, both what it is and how the true nature of it impacts our world.
"He challenges not only Einstein’s relativity, but also the very notion of natural laws as immutable truths." — Economist
“One of the essential books of the twenty-first century . . . Smolin provides a much-needed dose of clarity about time, with implications that go far beyond physics to economics, politics, and personal philosophy.” — Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget
About the Author
Lee Smolin is a theoretical physicist who has made influential contributions to the search for a unification of physics. He is a founding faculty member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His previous books include The Trouble with Physics, The Life of the Cosmos and Three Roads to Quantum Gravity.
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