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The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos and the New Laws of Nature Hardcover – 4 Aug 1997
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Oliver Sacks "Prigogine is a pioneer of chaos and self-organization theory, and his vision is as revolutionary and fundamental as Darwin's. With a fascinating blend of the conceptual, historical, and personal, he gives us a rare and privileged glimpse into one of the most adventurous scientific imaginations of our time."
The Nobel laureate and founder of chaos theory challenges the accepted laws of nature, explaining why Einstein's belief that time is merely an illusion is incorrect.See all Product description
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Their clarity is really great and fundamental in the complex word to fix and heal "Physics"
Time in modern physics
Ilya Prigogine observes that the time dimension incorporated in the basic laws of physics, the classical Newtonian dynamics, relativity or quantum physics, does not make a distinction between the past and the future. There is no arrow of time, as in chemistry, geology, biology or the humanities. However, we should incorporate an evolutionary aspect (indeterminacy) in our physical laws, by revising the concept of time.
Revision of the concept of time in physics
The physics of non-equilibrium processes study dissipative systems, which are characterized by a one-dimensional, irreversible time (e.g. eddies, laser radiation, oscillations). This irreversibility is an essential condition for consistent behaviors in populations of trillions of trillions of molecules.
Revision of the deterministic physical laws
It becomes possible to overcome the contradictions between the reversible laws of dynamics and the evolutionary description associated with entropy, by extending dynamics to unstable and chaotic systems.
At and around the equilibrium, the laws of nature maintain their universality. Far from the equilibrium, they depend on the type of unstable irreversible processes. This instability can be incorporated into the basic laws with the introduction of statistics. Thus, the laws of nature become pure possibilities. There are no certainties any more. The laws describe a `becoming' not a `being'.
Irreversibility may lead to the formation of molecules which could not be synthesized in conditions close to equilibrium. In this case, she becomes a part of matter.
An eternal time?
Irreversible processes associated with dynamic instabilities have played a decisive role in the universe since its birth. In this perspective, time is eternal: it has neither a beginning nor an end. We could create a theory which combines certain elements of the two traditional cosmological models, the steady state and the big bang. The first model would be applicable to the pre-universe, an unstable environment that produced our universe, while the second would apply specifically to our universe.
This controversial book is a must for anyone interested in contemporary physics.
As Prigigone points out, all of our time reversible equations describe a simplification of what actually occurs in nature. We live our lives with eyes blinkered, dismissing reality as the exception to our neatly formed approximations.
Nobel laureate Prigigone does his best to avoid the mathematics as he describes ground breaking ideas that challenge and redefine science and through it the way we comprehend our world. In doing so it shakes the foundations of our knowledge and points not just to new understanding but new ways of understanding a universe governed by probabilities.
In my case at least, Prigigone did not fully succeed and there are parts of the book in which my lack of mathematical knowledge left me floundering. However don't be put off and feel free to skip the middle chapters. The key ideas all shine through even without the maths and will feed the open mind of those seeking a real understanding of the natural world.