- Tapa blanda: 384 páginas
- Editor: Oxford Univ Pr; Edición: Reprint (1 de noviembre de 2001)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0195145925
- ISBN-13: 978-0195145922
- Valoración media de los clientes: 5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Ver todas las opiniones (3 opiniones de clientes)
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº167.469 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
The End of Time : the Next Revolution in Physics (Inglés) Tapa blanda – nov 2001
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Reseña del editor
Richard Feynman once quipped that "Time is what happens when nothing else does." But Julian Barbour disagrees: if nothing happened, if nothing changed, then time would stop. For time is nothing but change. It is change that we perceive occurring all around us, not time. Put simply, time does not exist.
In this highly provocative volume, Barbour presents the basic evidence for a timeless universe, and shows why we still experience the world as intensely temporal. It is a book that strikes at the heart of modern physics. It casts doubt on Einstein's greatest contribution, the spacetime continuum, but also points to the solution of one of the great paradoxes of modern science, the chasm between classical and quantum physics. Indeed, Barbour argues that the holy grail of physicists--the unification of Einstein's general relativity with quantum mechanics--may well spell the end of time.
Barbour writes with remarkable clarity as he ranges from the ancient philosophers Heraclitus and Parmenides, through the giants of science Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, to the work of the contemporary physicists John Wheeler, Roger Penrose, and Steven Hawking. Along the way he treats us to enticing glimpses of some of the mysteries of the universe, and presents intriguing ideas about multiple worlds, time travel, immortality, and, above all, the illusion of motion.
The End of Time is a vibrantly written and revolutionary book. It turns our understanding of reality inside-out.
Biografía del autor
Julian Barbour is a theoretical physicist who has worked on foundational issues in physics and astronomy for 35 years. His first book, the widely praised The Discovery of Dynamics, has recently been republished in paperback. In 2000 the Association of American Publishers awarded The End of Time its prestigious award for excellence in the Physics & Astronomy section. Julian Barbour, a theoretical physicist, has worked on foundational issues in physics for 35 years. He is the author of the widely praised Absolute or Relative Motion?: Volume I, and is working on the second volume.
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reformulated to drop out references to time, is out of my area of
expertise. What I can do, with training in philosophy, is to trace
the implications of one of the other claims that he makes, viz., that
motion is an illusion.
Much of what we believe we know about particle physics is based on
the observation and theoretical interpretation of collisions between
particles in an accelerator. ("Large Hardon Collider" - the name
For somethings to collide, they must move. That which does not move,
does not collide. So if motion - and therefore the motion of
particles - is an illusion, then so are the 'collisions' between
particles. If the collisions are illusions, then the science built
on the interpretations of the collisions is a science of illusions.
It may an accurate science of illusions, but a science of illusions
none the less.
This will seem less surprising as the discussion develops.
Next, let’s move up to the micro level. How did we come into the
world? By our mothers becoming pregnant. That happened because a
sperm penetrated an egg. But 'penetrated' assumes motion. If no
motion, no penetration. It follows that we, as embodied beings,
don't exist, since the mechanism for that to happen is an illusion.
Up one level: What of kinetic energy? By definition, kinetic energy
is energy of a mass in motion. " ... the kinetic energy of an object
is the energy that it possesses due to its motion." So no motion, no
kinetic energy. Since it is kinetic energy that is responsible for
the bullet's ability to penetrate the body and kill the victim, it
follows that the accounts of persons being killed by gunshots are
based on an illusion - no one in fact has been so killed. (Not
surprising if our existence as embodied beings is itself an illusion.)
Next to the formation of planetary systems. So far as I'm aware, all
the various theories of the formation of solar systems depend on the
assumption of motion: Fragments of matter are drawn together in
larger and larger aggregations to form the components of the
system. If motion did not occur, this aggregation did not occur, and the planets etc.
were not formed. Not only does the Earth not move (as he claims), the Earth itself is an illusion.
Finally of course there is the universe as a whole. The same
considerations apply here: The theories of the formation of the
cosmos presuppose that motion occurs. If motion is an illusion, so
is the cosmos.
Which is the heart of my criticism of Barbour: It is that he does
not carry his basic idea that motion is an illusion to its logical
conclusion: All is illusion, all is Maya, as high Hinduism believes.
There are hints of this in the book- he makes reference to the
Upanishad's saying that our belief in the reality of our individual
ego is an illusion. What he does not go on to acknowledge is that
his belief leads also to the Upanishad's conclusion that _all_ is
They are rightly disappointed, since this was not the aim of this book.
In fact what Barbour tries here is to make a case for finding the basic principles underlying one of the most successful modern physical theory: the general relativity. In fact he manages to establish this connection making "The End of Time" one the most meaty popular science books of all times.
It is true that Barbour does don't convincingly explains the psychological illusion of time in a timeless universe, but it would be foolish to expect that, since the problem of qualia is still an elusive, poorly understood interdisciplinary concept. Still, this shortcoming does not make the book any less intriguing.
The only irritating aspect of the book was the narcissistic attitude of the author. He has not decided whether he writes a popular science book or an biography of himself (I don't use the word autobiography, as he praises himself as if he would be a different person.)
Still I give this book 5 stars, since it is extremely well written and Barbour makes an excellent job to make a very hard technical topic intuitive and accessible. The only reason he seems to fail is simply the very modest average intellectual capability of the general audience.
For example, a lot of the layman reviewers attack the notion of timelessness, which is in fact does not originate from Barbour but is a most mainstream view among all self-respecting physicists. The notion that the arrow of time is a consequence of the entropy increase in the state-space is neither new, nor very controversial.
What's a new however is that the topology of Einstein's space-time manifold is naturally glued together from disjoint three dimensional moments based on a similarity metric alone is not widely recognized.I think this is a very fundamental and interesting insight, which deserves a good deal of thoughts. This conclusion of his, however is not a subjective opinion, but a well defined mathematical statement proven by Barbour and his coauthors.
Obviously that's not totally satisfying to our desire to really understand what's going on, but it does 'move the ball' a little toward that goal. And, the book provides a much richer view of the whole concept, including the history of theories and thoughts about time as well as how matter and motion impact what we experience.
This is well worth the read for anyone obsessed with trying to comprehend reality.