Synopses & Reviews
One of TIME's Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade
"Meet the new Stephen Hawking . . . The Order of Time is a dazzling book." The Sunday Times
From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, comes a concise, elegant exploration of time.
Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike.
For most readers this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it remains. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where at the most fundamental level time disappears. He explains how the theory of quantum gravity attempts to understand and give meaning to the resulting extreme landscape of this timeless world. Weaving together ideas from philosophy, science and literature, he suggests that our perception of the flow of time depends on our perspective, better understood starting from the structure of our brain and emotions than from the physical universe.
Already a bestseller in Italy, and written with the poetic vitality that made Seven Brief Lessons on Physics so appealing, The Order of Time offers a profoundly intelligent, culturally rich, novel appreciation of the mysteries of time.
"Rovelli has crafted an accessible, mind — expanding read that challenges our perceptions of time, space and reality." TIME
"An elegantly concise primer makes theoretical physics intelligible . . . it would be to do a disservice to Rovelli and this stunningly written book, to say that brevity is its main virtue." The Times (UK)
"In this fascinating new book, Carlo Rovelli weaves together physics, philosophy, and art to explore the enduring mystery of time itself." Bustle
"No one writes about the cosmos like theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli. . . Rovelli's new story of time is elegant and lucidly told, whether he is revealing facts or indulging in romantic-philosophic speculation about the nature of time." The Washington Post
About the Author
Carlo Rovelli is an Italian theoretical physicist, the head of the Quantum Gravity group at the Centre de Physique Théorique of Aix-Marseille University and one of the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory. His previous books include Seven Brief Lessons on Physics — an international bestseller translated into more than forty languages — and Reality Is Not What It Seems.