The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe

The End of Time The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe Time is an illusion Although the laws of physics create a powerful impression that time is flowing in fact there are only timeless nows In The End of Time the British theoretical physicist Julian Ba

  • Title: The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe
  • Author: Julian Barbour
  • ISBN: 9780297819851
  • Page: 357
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Time is an illusion Although the laws of physics create a powerful impression that time is flowing, in fact there are only timeless nows In The End of Time, the British theoretical physicist Julian Barbour describes the coming revolution in our understanding of the world a quantum theory of the universe that brings together Einstein s general theory of relativity whTime is an illusion Although the laws of physics create a powerful impression that time is flowing, in fact there are only timeless nows In The End of Time, the British theoretical physicist Julian Barbour describes the coming revolution in our understanding of the world a quantum theory of the universe that brings together Einstein s general theory of relativity which denies the existence of a unique time and quantum mechanics which demands one Barbour believes that only the most radical of ideas can resolve the conflict between these two theories that there is, quite literally, no time at all The End of Time is the first full length account of the crisis in our understanding that has enveloped quantum cosmology Unifying thinking that has never been brought together before in a book for the general reader, Barbour reveals the true architecture of the universe and demonstrates how physics is coming up sharp against the extraordinary possibility that the sense of time passing emerges from a universe that is timeless The heart of the book is the author s lucid description of how a world of stillness can appear to be teeming with motion in this timeless world where all possible instants coexist, complex mathematical rules of quantum mechanics bind together a special selection of these instants in a coherent order that consciousness perceives as the flow of time Finally, in a lucid and eloquent epilogue, the author speculates on the philosophical implications of his theory Does free will exist Is time travel possible How did the universe begin Where is heaven Does the denial of time make life meaningless Written with exceptional clarity and elegance, this profound and original work presents a dazzlingly powerful argument that all will be able to follow, but no one with an interest in the workings of the universe will be able to ignore.

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    2 thoughts on “The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe

    1. Julian Barbour Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe book, this is one of the most wanted Julian Barbour author readers around the world.

    2. People who read pop science books will know by now that the physics world is rather like that of Star Wars. The dominant String Theorists are the Empire; led by the Vader-like Ed Witten, they control the corrupt funding agencies and rule science with an iron fist. Ranged against them, we have the eccentric and charismatic Rebels. Lee Smolin's Periphery Institute is clearly the main Rebel base, and Peter Woit comes across as a typical Han Solo figure. I rather fancy Roger Penrose as Obi-Wan Kenob [...]

    3. I got interested in this book after attending a seminar given by Barbour at the University of New Brunswick. THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN PROTEST AT ' CENSORSHIP POLICYSee the complete review here:arbieroooklikes/post/66

    4. if you love Roger Penrose and Lee Smolin, and REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT, you might like this book. basically, the paradoxical incongruity between quantum theory and general relativity is attacked once more. i was blown away. the strongest argument, for me, that time does not really exist was this: if you look at any ISOLATED quantum system with CONSTANT ENERGY, you will expect it to be in a STATIONARY STATE. think of any isolated atom, with all its electrons sitting in orbita [...]

    5. This is absolutely one of my favourite science books. I picked it up initially because the premise fascinated me. The nonexistence (as an objective reality, mind you) of time was something I've always sort of intuited, and to see physics exploring the same conclusions immediately sparked my interest. Ironically, though, that is not the strongest part of this book.I think any good science book should not only explain to you a theory and its application, but give you the context as well. A good sc [...]

    6. I strongly suspect the main problem is that I was too stupid and distractable to do a good job reading this, but as far as I could glean:This book contains, in order of most pages devoted to the least:-Holding the reader's hand and reassuring them that it's not too hard to understand it-Referring to what will be explained and made much clear later in the book-Repeating or rephrasing minor points or peripheral frameworks in order to make the ideas easier to picture-Brief summaries of or mere refe [...]

    7. Julian Barbour is the foremost representative of the Machian view of physics, epitomized by the idea that time disappears on the cosmological view replaced by the comparison of changes with changes within time. There is no time for the universe itself. Turns out he can defend that view with a timeless view of both GTR and of QM by way of the stationary state DeWitt-Wheeler equation. He also has an explanation of why there seems to be time in terms of traces and time-capsules which result from qu [...]

    8. I was too far into this before it became a chore, and feeling unable to rescind the investment I'd made, I ploughed on.The problem for me was mainly one of clarity and lack of allegorical description when dealing with complex theories, which I felt should have been present in a work aimed at a lay readership a part of which I presumed myself to be. There seemed to be a lack in the consistency of the intellectual level of to whom the book is addressed. On the one hand you are reminded of Pythagor [...]

    9. I mean the idea behind the book was really good. I was excited to read about a whole new way to excuse ourselves from this time like track forward we seem to find ourselves in. Some of the backing seemed pretty sound from my grasp of these issues. The problem is, I was left with kind of giant question mark at the end? The conclusion was frankly so poorly written that I found myself re reading the original entry chapters to kind of tie MYSELF back to the context since the author didn't do it for [...]

    10. Not very convincing. Argument is that space-time doesn’t exist. It is an illusion. Like the sun seeming to orbit the earth. States of the universe exist and seem to order themselves in a temporal sequence. Life may really be more like an event simulation than like a continuous simulation. States move from one quantum state to another quantum state in a quantum “time”. States of existence may be probabilistic (like quantum physics) where the uncertainty is not in knowing what state the syst [...]

    11. My x-wife gave me this book in 2002, and I have not had the chance to really read it. Right now I am putting a potential Theory of Everything, and this book was mentioned in the last book I read because it contains a clear idea about how construct a background-independent theory.

    12. This book is an excellent description as to how time is not "real" and the author's efforts to generate Relativity theory and the laws of physics without referring to time.I have read this twice and both times found greater understanding. While some concepts seemed to be push my bounds of believability, it was still quite convincing. "One" thing I got out of this book is that the past exists only in our head, the future is really just the next "Now." The answer to what time is it is "right now." [...]

    13. I bought this book many years ago and finally took the time to read it. While newer research may have altered the conclusions, I found both the philosophical and scientific history fascinating. We progress by digging the same whole deeper, until an event forces the digging of a new hole. The hard part is saying what is known is not the solution. Barbour challenges us to pursue new theories, instead of contorting old theories to fit new data.

    14. Because I am interested in popular science and entertain the idea that time really is illusion, I figured this title would be a good read. But it turned out to be more a specialist text-book. You'd have to be from another planet to catch the gist of what Barbour is saying. Dry, uber-abstract, misty mathematical meandering. I couldn't understand much of it and probably gave up half-way through. For me a disappointing and forgettable tome. Science writers need to excite us lay folk with their theo [...]

    15. I read half the book patiently waiting for Barbour to explain his theory of a timeless universe before realizing this book is a waste of time. No pun intended.

    16. I am very interested in sorting out the nature of "time" - is time a fundamental dimension? was there an absolute time=0? will it go on to infinity? The idea that time will go to infinity, that the universe will plod on forever really bothers me. It seriously makes me sick to my stomach. This is regardless of my thoughts on death bothers me whether I'll be relaxing in heaven or my spirit ceases to exist or I enjoy becoming parts of future trees and animals. I'm not sure that the world "ending" ( [...]

    17. This is one of the toughest books I've ever had to get through. I realized I was in over my head about 70 pages in, and then as I struggled to keep up with the mathematical lingo I realized that there's no way I'm going to (mathematically) catch up in order to understand every single concept. I gave it 4 stars because the concepts that I could grasp (which I would say was about 85% of the book) are now in my mental tool belt. I am particularly enamored by the idea of the NOW. I will not attempt [...]

    18. I have mixed feelings about this book. His idea that there is no such thing as time and that this insight will unify physics is really, really impressive. It makes sense once you wrap your brain around it and can really change world outlook. However, he has a huge problem getting where he's going. He makes these incredibly intuitive leaps without explaining why until later and then by then we've forgotten exactly where he was going. I like what he had to say, I wish it had been better structured [...]

    19. The author puts forth the theory that time is just an illusion and does not exist. According to this idea, all events are just a series of "nows" that our minds string together as a movie, giving us the illusion of time moving forward. As I understand it, each "now" is like a parallel/different world (or analogous to a different/parallel world) along the lines of Everett's 'many-worlds hypothesis'.Getting into a little more (technical) detail, Barbour seems to believe that the universe is govern [...]

    20. I have since long been open to the idea that time is only an illusion, a static extension in a complex multi-dimensional form. Barbour's book does no good job in promoting that idea, even though it wants to. All his babble about Platonia (Barbour's name for the static multiverse) and the existence of 'time capsules' (micro-sized qualities of atoms that allow observers to distinguish between past and future), is too far-fetched. Instead of opening readers' eyes to the possibility that all events [...]

    21. A shattering work that challenges the key discovery of the 20th century: whether time is a hard function in the theory of relativity. if not then time itself is relative. unearthing less commonly known theories discovered in parallel to einstein, barbour dissects his arguments carefully then speculates madly. both gestures not only appear valid, but probably more scientifically stable than relativity's highly unstable spawn: quantum dynamics. barbour makes the case for restating the quantum as s [...]

    22. When I was 19, this question occurred to me:If a tree falls in the woods, and there are no conscious beings in the universe, does it fall quickly, or does it fall slowly?This book answers that question.I am too lazy to read the book in it's entirety, so I found an excellent summaryingsufficientlyIf you read that correctly, you come away with the sense that every moment experienced is a miracle.And it is only 5% bullshit :) That's less than my daily recommended allowance.If I have one six-star bo [...]

    23. Very instructive in teaching the reader about the many different ways one can view time in physics as well as the notion of an absolute and relative universe. Barbour gives us the basics of what we need to know to understand the basics of his theory that time is really an illusion. If that sounds like nebulous hippie-dippie nonsense to you, reading this book will convince you otherwise, because there's nothing like that in there -- Barbour supports his theory with sound logic, which is what make [...]

    24. A good read. This book is very readable and worth the knowledge that the 335 pages of narrative uncover. Barbour clearly knows his stuff, and although I was not able to completely understand everything he says, I did get an appreciation of his reasons and arguments. This book will certainly give you a better understanding and appreciation of science. It is long, but if you persist and keep reading, your reward will come with more knowledge and understand about life and this wonderful universe we [...]

    25. I don't know how credible the ideas advanced in this book are; I don't suppose more than a few hundred people in the world are actually qualified to give an opinion on that. Dr. Barbour writes very well (his education has clearly ranged far beyond his speciality), and though I did not always agree with him, I enjoyed reading his book and learnt a lot from it, particularly about working with configuration spaces and fun things you can do with the Schrödinger wave equation.I remain unconvinced of [...]

    26. Does time exist ? a good summary of Barbour's book is at youtube/watch?v=WKsNra - refers to the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence (cf. bunoto-u/~suchii/, section on the "relational theory"). See also bunoto-u/~suchii/ for more references on the question of time in philosophy of physics.A link is to be made with Izutsu's "Creation and the Timeless Order of Things: Essays in Islamic Mystical Philosophy", also with atomist theory in Islamic theology.

    27. The curiosity of quantum mechanics lead me to attempt this book. Having had the theory of space/time mentioned is several recent books, I wanted to know more about the topic. I thought this book might be more of a layman's explanation. I was wrong. I struggled through the first three chapters and finally gave up. I will look for Quantum Theory for Dummies books to further this non-mathematician's quest for knowledge of worm holes and time travel.

    28. Have read it twice (I think) but have yet to understand it in anything like the depth required to say anything sensible about it. I found it fascinating that Barbour and Smolin, coming at the problem from complete opposite positions, often seem to end up saying the same thing. Is Time not just the only Reality, but also a complete Illusion? It exists and doesn't exist at one and the same time - makes perfect sense to me - or does it?

    29. A great book for the layperson grasping at understanding high-level physics. The author posits his own theory, intended as a more elegant solution to the problems of string theory and quantum mechanics, essentially by arguing that Time is an illusory concept, and not intrinsic to the laws of physics.

    30. Seriously? What the fuck is this book about? Some shit about pulling triangles out of a burlap sack. It's very hard to follow and there's no evidence to support Barbour's claims about the nature of time.Luckily, I traded this book for Jamie's copy of The Problem with Physics by Lee Smolin, which was terrific.

    31. Julian made a good effort. He sees the problem: that the next big leap will require a leap in mathematics (or some reality-describing language) akin to Newton/Leibniz.Instead the book gets rambly with descriptions of red or green multidimensional mists.I am sure Julian could see it in his mind, but he failed to communicate.It was pretty readable, but taught nothing.

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