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The End Of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe Paperback – 16 Mar 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (16 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753810204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753810200
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 253,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The End of Time is a fascinating contribution to physics by a scholar and thinker who is taken seriously by physicists of the calibre of Wheeler and Smolin. But he has pursued a career outside the mainstream, living on a farm and refusing to get involved in traditional teaching and research. He argues that time is a purely local phenomenon, a way of seeing things, rather than something that actually meaningfully exists at the core of the Universe. This consists of a vast agglomeration of Nows, single moments whose relationship with each other is intimate, but not intrinsically one of causation.

"If time is removed from the foundations of physics, we shall not all suddenly feel that the flow of time has ceased. On the contrary, new timeless principles will explain why we do feel that time flows. The pattern of the first great revolution will be repeated. Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler taught us that the Earth moves and rotates while the heavens stand still, but this did not change by one iota our direct perception that the heavens do move and that the Earth does not budge."

The many worlds hypothesis is also true and the worlds that derive from alternate possibility exist alongside each other moment-by-moment. Seeing things in this way solves the more recondite problems of quantum physics--Schrodinger's Cat is both dead, and alive, and never in the box in the first place and at a time before the box was thought of, and long dead all in a set of Nows that sit alongside each other in the Platonic realm which is underlying reality. There are no paradoxes because Sequence is an illusion: this is philosophical physics for those of you who like to have your brains hurt. --Roz Kaveney

Book Description

A brilliant theoretical physicist argues that the solution to the ultimate question in science: how to unify Einstein's theory of general relativity with quantum mechanics, is possible only if we abolish time from the foundations of the universe. In other words, despite our deepest intuitions, time does not exist.

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Nothing is more mysterious and elusive than time. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jimmie on 26 Oct. 2007
I may as well start by saying that I have a degree in Applied physics and I'm more exposed to this kind of thinking than the average reader. This book is more an excercise in deep thought than an enlightening read.
I can't imagine anyone not finding some of the ideas and imaginings in this book hard to grasp unless they have a technical science background and are used to thinking in this manner. His overall view of time I disagree with but that doesn't mean I regret reading it. In fact I found it to be a very thought provoking book which is always a good thing.
Because of the obscurity of the subject the author in no way really convinced me of his beliefs, since the arguments he puts forward are a mesh between his own eccentric thoughts about timelessness coupled with an underlying quantum mechanical structure to it. A process which would seem to be impossible to prove anyway. But still a eye-opening read.
I'm giving it 3 stars because of the difficulty of understanding some of the material he puts across which I don't recommend for someone looking for a nice and easy interesting science read, the book is hard to get through compared to most popular science books.
As a result of the awkward material presented I can't say that I found this book to be an exciting read either.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By bobobob5 on 8 Aug. 2001
Humans find it quite easy to grasp the idea of spacial dimensions. This might be because we have eyes, and skin that can feel things. If a clock was conscious, would it find space to be the elusive dimension? The author starts from the premise that time is inherently elusive, and he seeks to resolve this by eliminating it entirely. Inevitably, the notorious dual-slit light interference experiment features centrally in the book, as it does in Professor Deutsch's studies. Both of these quantum physicists are drawn to the multiple worlds (multiverse) theory, in which a virtually infinite number of universes exist simultaneously, 'touching' and affecting each other through the interaction of electromagnetic particles and probabilities. This theory is not accepted by the majority of physicists. Barbour's book is not an easy read; the early parts are far too long, and the conclusions - and the resultant implications - are not really clear at all. Having read the book, I certainly find it easier to imagine the universe existing as a timeless present moment, with no past and no future. Whether this book is on the right track, or merely leading its readers up the garden path, only the 'future' will reveal.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G. Heywood on 12 Mar. 2001
This book was difficult to get into the first time. An awful lot is packed in. The first chapters seem to explain the authors general idea, and the rest of the book explains how this fits into other physics theories. This was difficult to start with because you have to take some assumptions at face value until they are explained in full. Having said that, the diagrams are excellent, and the information is ultimately accessable. You may need to read it twice, but it is worth it.
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By Mr. Rf Loach on 5 Oct. 2011
This is a very interesting book but heavy on physics and mathematics for someone like me. If I had I known would not have bought it. Consequently I find it difficult to read past the first few chapters. :-(
Buy this if maths and physics are your thing.
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By L. P. Cutler on 30 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase
A refreshingly different notion of existence. Quite thought provoking. Nothing else to say, I will just add a few more words to make the minimum needed for a review. OK that's done.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 April 2000
There are currently several books dealing with new theories in physics, they are fascinating but I found the "End of Time" a bit disappointing after all the newspaper hype. What I want in a book of this type are three things, firstly to be educated on the general theoretical background, entertainingly presented the history of the subject up to the present day, secondly the author must, as succinctly as possible, explain their theory; show where it supports and where it overturns conventional ideas. Finally the books must present conclusions, sketch out the likely impact of the new concept. The "End of Time" devotes many pages to arguments in favour of the author's thesis, in a way that will bore the general reader but is unlikely to convince the physicist. Near the end of the book my feeling was ok ok you win, just tell me the implications, but that's the problem, the author refuses to speculate, possibly on the spurious grounds that predictions are impossible in a world without time. In summary a long, confusing and eventually a frustrating read. If you want to see how a book of this type should be handled read the unbelievably good "The Inflationary Universe" by Alan H. Guth.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 3 Nov. 2006
I am reading this a present so apologies for writing a review before completeing this but it was irresistable. As readers currently may know Hawking had worked on the idea that time and space had no actual beigining because of quantum uncertainty when the universe was smaller than plancks length - so that the question of a beginning was not relevant. However Einstein had already gone a 'quantum leap further by saying "the concept of past present and future are an illusion and a stubborn one at that.....". Perhaps he was ahead of the game.Hence I was very interested in this book. I am looking forward to completeing this book as much of our confusion about the nature of reality is based upon our failure to confront issues about the nature of time and a healthy open minded study of this beguiling human perception is welcomed.
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