web site hit counter The Order of Time - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Order of Time

Availability: Ready to download

Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at d Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at different speeds in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe. With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery, inviting us to imagine a world where time is in us and we are not in time.


Compare

Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at d Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at different speeds in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe. With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery, inviting us to imagine a world where time is in us and we are not in time.

30 review for The Order of Time

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brian Clegg

    There's good news and bad news. The good news is that The Order of Time does what A Brief History of Time seemed to promise but didn't cover: it attempts to explore what time itself is. The bad news is that Carlo Rovelli does this in such a flowery and hand-waving fashion that, though the reader may get a brief feeling that they understand what he's writing about, any understanding rapidly disappears like the scent of a passing flower (the style is catching). It doesn't help either that the book There's good news and bad news. The good news is that The Order of Time does what A Brief History of Time seemed to promise but didn't cover: it attempts to explore what time itself is. The bad news is that Carlo Rovelli does this in such a flowery and hand-waving fashion that, though the reader may get a brief feeling that they understand what he's writing about, any understanding rapidly disappears like the scent of a passing flower (the style is catching). It doesn't help either that the book is in translation so some scientific terms are mangled, or that Rovelli has a habit of self-contradiction. Time and again (pun intended) he tells us time doesn't exist, then makes use of it. For example, at one point within a page of telling us of time's absence Rovelli writes of events that have duration and a 'when' - both meaningless terms without time. At one point he speaks of a world without time, elsewhere he says 'Time and space are real phenomena.' The difficulty I think Rovelli faces is that he uses the common physicist's approach of talking of a model as if it were reality. The wofflyness often gets in the way of understanding. For example, when talking about the second law of thermodynamics and entropy, he claims (I think - it's difficult to tell exactly what he is claiming) that the only reason we perceive the arrow of time from the increase of entropy is the way we label things. The implication is that, for example, the atoms in your body are no more ordered than the atoms in a scrambled mess - it's just that it's easier to see the order in your body because on the scale of atoms everything is blurred, but if we could see every atom exactly, whatever configuration they would be in would itself be unique. It sounds impressive, but skips over the way that fundamental quantum particles are indistinguishable. The arrangement of the cloud of atoms is only unique if you can tell one hydrogen atom (say) from another. This is rather a shame, as Rovelli covers a considerable amount in what is a distinctly short book (though, thankfully, you get more for your money than in Seven Brief Lessons). Amongst other things, Rovelli passingly covers the special and general theories of relativity, thermodynamics and, of course, loop quantum gravity. And it's particularly frustrating because his attempt to put across the idea that it’s better to model reality in terms of events rather than things is a very powerful one which isn't often seen in popular science - but the message could easily be lost in the confusion. You come away with very little information - far more that rapidly disappearing odour. I've no doubt this book should do well for those who are impressed that a physicist can refer to Proust. But I like a popular science book with significantly more meat in it, rather than vague impressions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Take two. Time has swallowed my review. My first one anyway. I wish I could take back the time, do it over, but entropy hit GR (or at least my internet connection) and something less than the total heat-death of the universe made me realign my perceptions of reality and time. Oh, wait. That was this book! Half historical science, some equations, the theoretical underpinnings of quantum loop theory, the role of entropy and heat in the determination of what makes TIME, and half philosophy and what ma Take two. Time has swallowed my review. My first one anyway. I wish I could take back the time, do it over, but entropy hit GR (or at least my internet connection) and something less than the total heat-death of the universe made me realign my perceptions of reality and time. Oh, wait. That was this book! Half historical science, some equations, the theoretical underpinnings of quantum loop theory, the role of entropy and heat in the determination of what makes TIME, and half philosophy and what makes our consciousness drag together all the underpinnings of the blur we call reality. Together, this is physics and metaphysics. The Greeks got it pretty damn close, but then, so did St. Augustine and Heidegger and Kant. Is it all relative? Yep. Thank you, Einstein. Every point on the curve of our universe has its own particular Time. Now is meaningless since the relationship between every point can never intersect with the others. It's all past or future and THAT is all perception. Time is change, too, and not to put too fine a point on it, all we can really do is put a rate on it, never carve it up into its smallest particle. So what about consciousness? It's all interpretation of what we see, baby. The stratifications of what we work by are just an approximation and it says nothing about how a child sees a day versus how an old person sees it. Carlo Rovelli combines the two and does an admirable job of trying to reconcile it all. Impossible, you say? Possibly, but he also gets 9 out of 10 points for style. :) Beautifully written.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fergus

    One of the self-appointed gurus of the seventies (who at one point was the leader of a cult headquartered on a Pacific island - you may remember him) used to bash ‘scientism’ as if there was no tomorrow. Many of us addled hippies agreed back then. Although I had a nagging feeling he was just in it for the glitz, glam and dineros. And I was right. Yes, his was a driven life. He probably never found a worthwhile moment of pure peace in his short life. I think Rovelli shares that blind spot, as do s One of the self-appointed gurus of the seventies (who at one point was the leader of a cult headquartered on a Pacific island - you may remember him) used to bash ‘scientism’ as if there was no tomorrow. Many of us addled hippies agreed back then. Although I had a nagging feeling he was just in it for the glitz, glam and dineros. And I was right. Yes, his was a driven life. He probably never found a worthwhile moment of pure peace in his short life. I think Rovelli shares that blind spot, as do so many of us harried moderns. Love seems foreign to him. Rovelli, in fact, puts the very human phenomenon of Particularity - the essence of falling for a Special Someone - down to simple physical entropy. Slowing down! Now, how can we love someone if not for their particularity? ‘I love her as I love no other’ is the Essence of a man’s love. Isn’t calling it entropy downright reductionist? I guess maybe science and emotional dryness go well together! Nevertheless, for all his glaring lack of simple humanity, he cuts a swashbuckling figure as a physicist. You just don’t see that too often! Or someone who explains complex theories so clearly. Hearing Rovelli talk, you can grasp Einstein’s thoughts about time as if for the first time (try my Kindle notes). His language is clear, concise, readable, and filled with colourful analogy. He must be as revered by his students as the legendary American physicist Richard Feynman was idolized by his. It’s a wonderful book. It puts a simple act like maybe walking to the store into a universal framework. I think, reading it, you’ll have little problem seeing how vastly the Theory of Relativity has altered our lives, in easy-to-understand language. And one famous scientist can teach us more about life than any hippie guru ever could! Though not about love... But he’ll learn all about THAT over time - For the Bigger they are the HARDER they fall.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Time is in Reality's Blurring: "The Order of Time" by Carlo Rovelli In some ways, Rovelli's writing is as influenced by Calvino as it is by Einstein or Feynman - this is not simply writing in the tradition of explicating or popularising scientific inquiry; but rather writing which seeks to open new spaces of possibility for thinking through the very endeavour of the writing itself. There does seem to be an appetite for knowledge out the If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Time is in Reality's Blurring: "The Order of Time" by Carlo Rovelli In some ways, Rovelli's writing is as influenced by Calvino as it is by Einstein or Feynman - this is not simply writing in the tradition of explicating or popularising scientific inquiry; but rather writing which seeks to open new spaces of possibility for thinking through the very endeavour of the writing itself. There does seem to be an appetite for knowledge out there, although the problem (so it seems to me at least) with physics for a wide audience is that ultimately there is only so much that you can do without resorting to maths.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alice Lippart

    My brain hurts and I love it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Monroe

    It rules over each and every one of us, but is there any greater mystery in life than time? What even is time? Carlo Rovelli sets out to explain just that question in his latest book, "The Order of Time". Rovelli's explanation of time isn't always clear - there were many moments where I lost the thread - but it is beautiful. For a theoretical physicist, Rovelli is wonderfully poetic. It certainly helps that the audiobook is narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, whose deeply rich voice lends Rovelli's It rules over each and every one of us, but is there any greater mystery in life than time? What even is time? Carlo Rovelli sets out to explain just that question in his latest book, "The Order of Time". Rovelli's explanation of time isn't always clear - there were many moments where I lost the thread - but it is beautiful. For a theoretical physicist, Rovelli is wonderfully poetic. It certainly helps that the audiobook is narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, whose deeply rich voice lends Rovelli's words added impact. As a result, this is one of the few books that's actually better listened to. Just imagine Cumberbatch reading the following: "Things in themselves are only events that, for a while, are monotonous. But only before returning to dust... the absence of time does not mean, therefore, that everything is frozen and unmoving, it means that the incessant happening that wearies the world is not ordered along a timeline, is not measured by a gigantic tic-tocking... it is a boundless and disorderly network of quantum events. The world is more like Naples than Singapore. If by "time" we mean nothing more than happening, then everything is time. There is only that which exists in time." That's beautiful, even if I don't quite fully understand it. Rovelli also quotes a beautiful passage by Hugo von Hofmannsthal from the famous aria in Richard Strauss' opera, "Der Rosenkavelier". It's an ode to the passing of time, and it's one of the most somber passages I've ever heard. It's titled "Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar ding", in English, "Time Is Weird". "I remember a little girl, but how can that be? Once I was that little girl, and then I became an old woman. If God wills it so, why allow me to see it? Why doesn't he hide it from me? Everything is a mystery. Such a deep mystery. I feel the fragility of things in time. From the bottom of my heart, I feel we should cling to nothing. Everything slips through our fingers. All that we seek to hold onto dissolves. Everything vanishes like mist and dreams. Time is a strange thing. When we don't need it, it is nothing. Then suddenly, there is nothing else. It is everywhere around us, also within us. It seeps into our faces. It seeps into the mirror. Runs through my temples. Between you and I, it runs silently like an hourglass. Sometimes I feel it flowing inexorably, sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and stop all the clocks." Like time itself, I often felt the words of Rovelli's "The Order of Time" vanishing from my mind nearly as soon as I read them. Such beautiful words, even if they left me far too quickly.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bharath

    Time has always been an enigma – with philosophers and even scientists calling it an illusion. And, Carlo Rovelli tells us that it is increasingly appearing to be so. A topic which without doubt captures your attention & is very intellectually stimulating. It would have been an exceptional book, but in parts struggles between being a book for everybody vs being a book of serious science. I have observed many science books do run into this issue – and it is quite obviously a difficult balance to Time has always been an enigma – with philosophers and even scientists calling it an illusion. And, Carlo Rovelli tells us that it is increasingly appearing to be so. A topic which without doubt captures your attention & is very intellectually stimulating. It would have been an exceptional book, but in parts struggles between being a book for everybody vs being a book of serious science. I have observed many science books do run into this issue – and it is quite obviously a difficult balance to achieve. The start gets you immediately hooked with the description of how time moves slower at lower altitudes than higher altitudes. When you fall, you are actually tending to go towards the place where time moves slower. The advances in our understanding of time makes for very interesting reading with the big breakthrough coming with Einstein’s theory of relativity. Einstein’s concept of the spacetime fabric affected by mass as well as speed completely changed how time was viewed. This also brings into question what we really mean by present – which really holds only here and is highly localized. The present somewhere else – on a different planet for instance is known to us much later and may mean nothing. It makes sense for the universe to be seen as a series of events, rather than as objects interacting with each other. Objects are a logical outcome of events and quite possibly so is time - a result of a change of entropy rather than something which passes by objects. There has been progress in creating theories & models of the universe without time. The Loop Quantum theory is discussed – which Carlo is personally involved with as well. The later part of the book discusses the practical uses of time – emerging out of a universe which does not really need time to explain it. This is a book which will kindle your curiosity to think and read more about time theories. There are vague & incomplete references to Vedanta & Lord Shiva from Hindu philosophy. Despite the inconsistent treatment – oscillating between simple language and more detail, this is a book to read, for the fascinating topic it explores. It is not a big book and will not take you too much time to read. Oh well, it will not be that easy to banish time from my mind yet though 😊 My rating: 3.75 / 5.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    "We are stories, contained within the twenty complicated centimeters behind our eyes, lines drawn by traces left by the (re)mingling together of things in the world, and oriented towards predicting events in the future, toward the direction of increasing entropy, in a rather particular corner of this immense, chaotic universe." - Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time An interesting short exploration of time as deconstructed (crumbled), shown to not exist except as relationships, and rebuilt through som "We are stories, contained within the twenty complicated centimeters behind our eyes, lines drawn by traces left by the (re)mingling together of things in the world, and oriented towards predicting events in the future, toward the direction of increasing entropy, in a rather particular corner of this immense, chaotic universe." - Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time An interesting short exploration of time as deconstructed (crumbled), shown to not exist except as relationships, and rebuilt through some theoretical poetry that uses psychology, theoretical physics, poetry, and perspective to paint a sense of what time (as we experience) might just be. I do like Dr. Rovelli. I don't even mind if a lot of what he's saying is theoretical (part 2) and speculative (parts 3). It is poetry and even if he isn't right, or physics or science shows a different path, his exploration is beautiful and revelatory. I wish I had a more complicated understanding of Quantum Gravity so Section 2 made more sense. I seemed to grab some of it, but I know I'm grabbing a tail of something I've only seen at the edge of my perception.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I suspect that these Carlo Rovelli books are popular because they are short and imaginative! The first half of The Order of Time was clear and thought-provoking. But the second half went a little off the rails and I'm not sure it all even made sense. (His science is sound, I assume, but what about his metaphysical speculations ?) My mind kept wandering as I was lulled by Benedict Cumberbatch's voice (which reminded me of Neil Gaiman's hypnotic audiobook narrations). I amused myself by imagining I suspect that these Carlo Rovelli books are popular because they are short and imaginative! The first half of The Order of Time was clear and thought-provoking. But the second half went a little off the rails and I'm not sure it all even made sense. (His science is sound, I assume, but what about his metaphysical speculations ?) My mind kept wandering as I was lulled by Benedict Cumberbatch's voice (which reminded me of Neil Gaiman's hypnotic audiobook narrations). I amused myself by imagining Cumberbatch not comprehending a single word of it, while still pulling off a marvelous performance.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rama

    Time is an Illusion, says physicist Carlo Rovelli Physicists calling time an illusion is not a new idea. Julian Barbour, in his 1999 book argued for the same hypothesis. Contrary to this idea, physicist Lee Smolin proposed that time is real. He suggested that laws of physics are not fixed in the universe but evolve over time. The principle argument in support of his theory is that mathematical models provide an abstraction of reality and ignore time dimension. Carlo Rovelli observes that since t Time is an Illusion, says physicist Carlo Rovelli Physicists calling time an illusion is not a new idea. Julian Barbour, in his 1999 book argued for the same hypothesis. Contrary to this idea, physicist Lee Smolin proposed that time is real. He suggested that laws of physics are not fixed in the universe but evolve over time. The principle argument in support of his theory is that mathematical models provide an abstraction of reality and ignore time dimension. Carlo Rovelli observes that since theory of general relativity assumes spacetime is smooth and continuous, and quantum theory describes matter and energy in discrete quantities which implies that spacetime is also quantized. i.e. they exist in discrete quanta. These two realities are unconnected because quantum physics cannot deal with the continuous spacetime, and general relativity cannot reconcile with quantization of space and time. In fact, space, time and gravity are suggested as emergent properties of a system. Emergent properties are not identical with, reducible to, or deducible from the other physical properties. Examples include, temperature, pressure, viscosity, spacetime and gravity. Therefore, the author concludes that Isaac Newton’s picture of a universally ticking clock, and Albert Einstein’s relativistic space-time that bends so that local times differ depending on one’s relative speed or proximity to a mass is an over simplification. According to Rovelli, the time; the sequences of past, present and future is an emergent phenomenon of thermodynamics. One of the principal arguments Rovelli advances is the Wheeler-De Witt equation which describes quantum gravity, but it has no time variable associated with it. Quantum mechanics and general relativity, taken together, imply the possibility of quantum superposition of different spacetimes. But the Wheeler-de Witt equation, which is based on a wave function Ψ[q] over geometries offers new perspectives. In this book, Rovelli often muses about metaphysics, poetry and spirituality but fails to convince the reader that his idea is on the right track. It reminds me of Einstein’s famous saying that “God does not play dice,” Which makes me believe that if time is an illusion, then space would also be an illusion. There is a beauty and symmetry in the universe, and time alone could not be an illusion without space. Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Mars explorer suggest that this universe is a computer simulation on someone’s computer. And black hole physics suggests that the information in 3D world could be described in 2D dimension, in fact reality is a hologram. In quantum reality, the wave functions of a reality must be collapsed by physical observation (conscious observers), until then the reality is smeared out in spacetime. In fact, reality is in the eyes of beholder. Taken together, reality of matter and energy in spacetime could be an illusion (Maya), as interpreted by the Vedanta School of Hindu philosophy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hugh

    The final one of my three short books this week was a recommendation from my late father, who was impressed by Rovelli's ability to communicate difficult scientific concepts to a lay audience and felt it would help us to understand the foundations of his own mathematical interests. The book is an ambitious attempt to explain how ideas of time have been refined to accommodate the needs of modern physics, and for me it was mostly successful, though at times I got a little lost by the arguments. On The final one of my three short books this week was a recommendation from my late father, who was impressed by Rovelli's ability to communicate difficult scientific concepts to a lay audience and felt it would help us to understand the foundations of his own mathematical interests. The book is an ambitious attempt to explain how ideas of time have been refined to accommodate the needs of modern physics, and for me it was mostly successful, though at times I got a little lost by the arguments. On its own that would be a dry subject, but there is plenty of more personal reflection, and a little poetry (the epigraphs are mostly from Horace's odes).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    My first read of #scienceseptember (2019) was a bit of a mind blowing experience, with physics meeting philosophy for a discussion of time. I barely grasped the concepts that were already dumbed down for a layperson - the absence of a "present," how time and entropy relate, equations without time, etc. But I did meet my goal of reading more than just nature stuff for the theme! "In order to exit from a black hole, you would need to move toward the present rather than toward the future!...This is My first read of #scienceseptember (2019) was a bit of a mind blowing experience, with physics meeting philosophy for a discussion of time. I barely grasped the concepts that were already dumbed down for a layperson - the absence of a "present," how time and entropy relate, equations without time, etc. But I did meet my goal of reading more than just nature stuff for the theme! "In order to exit from a black hole, you would need to move toward the present rather than toward the future!...This is impossible." "More than a hundred years have passed since we learned that the 'present of the universe' does not exist." "The world is not a collection of things, it is a collection of events." "We understand the world in its becoming, not in its being." "[The world] is a boundless and disorderly network of quantum events." "What causes events to happen in the world, what writes its history, is the irresistible mixing of all things going from the few ordered configurations to the countless disordered ones." "Music can occur only in time, but if we are always in the present moment, how is it possible to hear it?" "We are stories, ... lines drawn by traces left of the (re)mingling together of things in the world, ... in a rather particular corner of this immense, chaotic universe." "Time is suffering." A few thoughts I had - this whole "blurring" idea feels like an explanation you throw at something when you just don't understand it yet. I'd send those physicists back to think more about this. Rovelli also talks about how the only way we identify past vs. future is we can see traces of the past. But what if it's just that our brains don't understand what we see from the future without that particular framing?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    One star lost. Either I am simply in a bitter mood tonight, or the last thirty-seven minutes of this audiobook were depressing and existentially soul-crushing. Everything vanishes. Time is suffering. We suffer because we can't hold onto things. This is not physics?! Physics isn't supposed to be depressing; that's philosophy. I do wish he had perhaps confined himself to loop quantum gravity. I might as well next read Buddha's teachings tonight. Desire is suffering. Then Schopenhauer. Will is suff One star lost. Either I am simply in a bitter mood tonight, or the last thirty-seven minutes of this audiobook were depressing and existentially soul-crushing. Everything vanishes. Time is suffering. We suffer because we can't hold onto things. This is not physics?! Physics isn't supposed to be depressing; that's philosophy. I do wish he had perhaps confined himself to loop quantum gravity. I might as well next read Buddha's teachings tonight. Desire is suffering. Then Schopenhauer. Will is suffering. In seriousness, I think Rovelli is a marvelous writer. But I scarcely need another daily reminder that my desire to not suffer the common foibles of human consciousness is a distant dream. The best way to achieve happiness is to surrender the desire to control the entire cosmos, which I surely will never do.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Terry Pearce

    This is without a doubt the best science book I've ever read. Possibly the best book I've ever read. It takes something (Time) that is ultra-important to us all and really tough to think about, and, in graceful language and thoughtful structure, explains first how everything we think we know about it on a day to day basis is wrong, and then how we can think about it in a way that is profound and useful. Along the way, he ties it in with the deepest core of what it is to be a human being, alive, This is without a doubt the best science book I've ever read. Possibly the best book I've ever read. It takes something (Time) that is ultra-important to us all and really tough to think about, and, in graceful language and thoughtful structure, explains first how everything we think we know about it on a day to day basis is wrong, and then how we can think about it in a way that is profound and useful. Along the way, he ties it in with the deepest core of what it is to be a human being, alive, in time. This succeeds in spades as prose, as philosophy, as patient and structured explanation... just wonderful. And Benedict Cumberbatch narrates it perfectly.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Huyen Chip

    Mind-blowing. So beautifully written. Entropy makes the world go round. Time exists within us. I can't see the world the same way again. Mind-blowing. So beautifully written. Entropy makes the world go round. Time exists within us. I can't see the world the same way again.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Camelia Rose

    This is probably the hardest book I've listened. The concise yet poetic language and Benedict Cumberbatch's deeply affective voice keep me going. It is 4 hours 20 minutes long. I listened twice, doing my best to "get" as much as I can. The first part of the book describes well-established aspects of time in physics that have been repetitively proved by carefully conducted experiments--gravitational time dilation and relative velocity time dilation, i.e. time passes slower nearer to a mass, faste This is probably the hardest book I've listened. The concise yet poetic language and Benedict Cumberbatch's deeply affective voice keep me going. It is 4 hours 20 minutes long. I listened twice, doing my best to "get" as much as I can. The first part of the book describes well-established aspects of time in physics that have been repetitively proved by carefully conducted experiments--gravitational time dilation and relative velocity time dilation, i.e. time passes slower nearer to a mass, faster farer away from a mass, faster at lower speed and slower at higher speed. Then it goes deeper, much deeper. It dismantles what we, non physicists, think we know about time: something flows uniformly, equally throughout the universe in the course of which all things happen, and reality flows from the past, to the present and towards the future. According the book, the present that is common throughout the whole universe does not exist...There is "present" that is near to us, but nothing is present in a far away galaxy...The present is localized rather universal...The difference between past and future does not exist in the elementary equations that govern the world. A large part of the book talks about Thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics states total entropy of an isolated system can only increase over time, where "time" is the asymmetrical, one-directional process and what we "perceive" as time. The concepts of Thermal Time and Quanta Time have lost on me. I do not even attempt to understand Loop Theory and Spin Networks (which are the author's fields.) The universe starts at a lower entropy (a particular configuration, ordered), and gradually moves towards higher entropy (less ordered), but what is considered ordered, what is not? To explain, the author uses the analogy of cards shuffling. There are actually infinite possibilities of the order of cards, similar to the universe. However, we can not "see" (does the author mean we, the conscious being, the classical entity, to see with our eyes?) the infinite details of things, of the infinite happenings in the world, can not grasp the infinite possibilities and combinations, instead, we can only "see" what we are able to "see". The universe starts at a lower entropy because in our blurred "vision", that's the particular configuration we are associated with. No, I don't think I truly understand, but I am fascinated by the theory. Also this: In a system where time does not exist, change is ubiquitous. And this: The universe is a collection of events, not things, and not ordered by time. The last two chapters are quite philosophical. Indeed, new development in modern philosophy comes from theoretical physics and neuroscience. The impermanence of the universe described in the book complies with Buddhism's world view. The author discusses what makes "I", the conscious being. He sees memory is one of the three elements that makes one the one. “Because everything that begins must end. What causes us to suffer is not in the past or the future: it is here, now, in our memory, in our expectations. We long for timelessness, we endure the passing of time: we suffer time. Time is suffering.” “I am my mother’s caresses, and the serene kindness with which my father calmly guided me; I am my adolescent travels; I am what my reading has deposited in layers in my mind; I am my loves, my moments of despair, my friendships, what I’ve written, what I’ve heard; the faces engraved on my memory. I am, above all, the one who a minute ago made a cup of tea for himself. The one who a moment ago typed the word “memory” into his computer. The one who just composed the sentence that I am now completing. If all this disappeared, would I still exist? I am this long, ongoing novel. My life consists of it.”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary & Tom

    “This is time for us: a multilayered, complex concept with multiple, distinct properties deriving from various different approximations.” Page 198. The Public Library only allowed me 7 days to read this book with no renewals. So Time was a problem from the beginning. Nevertheless, I plowed through and finishing tonight, I ended up buying the Kindle Version. There is much to contemplate and digest in this book. A reread at some point in Time is in order. Reading this work, you will encounter expl “This is time for us: a multilayered, complex concept with multiple, distinct properties deriving from various different approximations.” Page 198. The Public Library only allowed me 7 days to read this book with no renewals. So Time was a problem from the beginning. Nevertheless, I plowed through and finishing tonight, I ended up buying the Kindle Version. There is much to contemplate and digest in this book. A reread at some point in Time is in order. Reading this work, you will encounter explanations of time that read like science fiction because they are so outside our human experience. All I know is that nothing has been discovered or invented that will let me step back in time to see my parents, hug my dog, or enjoy law school again.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mehdi Khazaeian

    Perfect explanation for time if you are into physics or mechanics.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ed Erwin

    The parts summarizing relativity and QM and their implications relative to the concept of time are very well done. When he comes to describing the sort of thing he himself works on, loop quantum gravity, it gets too vague and hand-wavey to make much sense. PS: This website refused to allow me to put a start date later than the date finished which proves that there is an order of time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Excellent narration by Benedict Cumberbatch. The universe is events. Good to think about this mind bending stuff now and then.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anton

    Incredible and astounding! Strongest possible recommendation!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Bullet Review: First book of the year - yippee!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Murtaza

    I was looking for a book about the philosophy of time, but found this one instead which is more of a physics book about the contemporary state of science on the subject. Despite not being exactly what I was looking for, Rovelli does a great job of laying out the present state of knowledge about what "time" really is in the universe and how it functions. Contrary to our limited perception, time is a far more relative and ephemeral phenomenon than we like to imagine. It is also better described as I was looking for a book about the philosophy of time, but found this one instead which is more of a physics book about the contemporary state of science on the subject. Despite not being exactly what I was looking for, Rovelli does a great job of laying out the present state of knowledge about what "time" really is in the universe and how it functions. Contrary to our limited perception, time is a far more relative and ephemeral phenomenon than we like to imagine. It is also better described as a part of the physical world, than as something flowing ceaselessly outside of it. Time flows faster in the mountains than it does in the plains, because gravity and mass slows it down. Our whole lives on this planet could be considered one giant "moment," created by the weight of the earth's gravitational force, rather than the free flowing time that exists in space. As well, the only genuine marks of the "past" that we ever see are those created by the release of heat and the growing entropy (disorder) of the universe. The heat created by your brains marks out memories, the heat of an asteroid impact on the moon leaves a crater etc. The flowing of time, or what we perceive as that, is in many ways the cause of our suffering as human beings. As a result, the great religious and philosophical traditions have always spoken of "eternity" as time's paradisical antithesis. Rovelli mentions this in passing, and I actually found it to be one of the most profound parts of the book. All in all he is a gifted explainer of physics and this is a genuinely accessible look at the science of time, as it stands at the moment. "And on that wave we will all have to navigate, all who are nourished by the fruits of the Earth." - The Odes of Horace (11,14)

  24. 5 out of 5

    seak

    Just read the quotes, I will do this no justice. Simple concepts like, there's no present in space and you're head is actually moving faster in time than your feet. And what actually is time, it seems circumstantial and always dependent on something. Oh, and time exists because we can't adequately track the minutiae of things. Also, it's not ineloquently told. To the quotes: “If I ask whether two events—one on Earth and the other on Proxima b—are happening “at the same moment,” the correct answer w Just read the quotes, I will do this no justice. Simple concepts like, there's no present in space and you're head is actually moving faster in time than your feet. And what actually is time, it seems circumstantial and always dependent on something. Oh, and time exists because we can't adequately track the minutiae of things. Also, it's not ineloquently told. To the quotes: “If I ask whether two events—one on Earth and the other on Proxima b—are happening “at the same moment,” the correct answer would be: “It’s a question that doesn’t make sense, because there is no such thing as ‘the same moment’ definable in the universe.” The “present of the universe” is meaningless.” “We are stories, contained within the twenty complicated centimeters behind our eyes...” “This is the disconcerting conclusion that emerges from Boltzmann’s work: the difference between the past and the future refers only to our own blurred vision of the world. It’s a conclusion that leaves us flabbergasted: is it really possible that a perception so vivid, basic, existential—my perception of the passage of time—depends on the fact that I cannot apprehend the world in all of its minute detail? On a kind of distortion that’s produced by myopia? Is it true that, if I could see exactly and take into consideration the actual dance of millions of molecules, then the future would be “just like” the past?” These ideas will be floating around my head for some time and my wife's probably sick of me talking about this book. 4 out of 5 Stars (highly recommended)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    This book did a number on my brain. And I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed Rovelli’s previous Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, so I should have been ready, but no. Then again this was a different beast. Physics are in general not entirely my bag, it’s a sort of thing to force feed to the mind to maintain a well balanced active diet, but usually I do ok. This one managed to repeatedly get away from me, sentences were read and reared, ideas pondered and contemplated. And yet…for all that reading, wha This book did a number on my brain. And I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed Rovelli’s previous Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, so I should have been ready, but no. Then again this was a different beast. Physics are in general not entirely my bag, it’s a sort of thing to force feed to the mind to maintain a well balanced active diet, but usually I do ok. This one managed to repeatedly get away from me, sentences were read and reared, ideas pondered and contemplated. And yet…for all that reading, what’s left is that time in an illusion, time doesn’t exist on fundamental level, time is directly related to entropy, it is through entropy and just about only through entropy that one can know and understand the concept of time such as it is. And, of yeah, all’s relative, thanks Einstein. That doesn’t seem enough of a reward for reading the book. Definitely not enough information. Rovelli, actually, is a lovely writer and he tends to wax poetic on his subjects at length, but here it seemed to be at cost to learning. Too many examples saying the same thing. And in the end too much of the same thing. In fact, you can probably just read the last chapter, which is a summary of sorts, and walk away accomplished. And I admit, this review may say more about a specific reader’s aptitude and intellectual vigor than the book itself, after all so many here on GR seem to have loved the book, but that’s what reviews are, aren’t they…specific reader’s thoughts on their reading experiences. And my reading experiences of this book was frustrating, exhausting and not overly rewarding. Definitely didn’t get that good workout, brain, thing nonfiction usually provides. Rovelli is quite possibly a genius, certainly exceptionally smart and knowledgeable in his field, he has plenty to say on the subject, but when he gets too technical, it’s too difficult to follow without specific knowledge of physics and when he waxes poetic, it’s too ephemeral to learn from. Overall, this seemed much more of a meditation on the nature of time than a scientific perspective on time. And as much as I wanted to love the book that uses smurfs for diagrams, I was unable to. In fact it managed to induce a peculiar mental stupor, which ended up wasting some of the precious, precious time. Good thing it was short at least. Obviously, user mileage may vary.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ellison

    I’ve been looking for a that book tries to explain what time is. This book does that. I found the attempt entertaining but not very convincing, or even clearly stated. Roveli is not trying to sum up the various scientific theories but to present his own ideas, first as a physicist and then as a philosopher. Lots of metaphors and musings: “The difference between things and events is that things persist in time; events have a limited duration. A stone is a prototypical ‘thing’: we can ask ourselve I’ve been looking for a that book tries to explain what time is. This book does that. I found the attempt entertaining but not very convincing, or even clearly stated. Roveli is not trying to sum up the various scientific theories but to present his own ideas, first as a physicist and then as a philosopher. Lots of metaphors and musings: “The difference between things and events is that things persist in time; events have a limited duration. A stone is a prototypical ‘thing’: we can ask ourselves where it will be tomorrow. Conversely, a kiss is an ‘event.’ It makes no sense to ask where the kiss will be tomorrow. The world is made up a network of kisses, not stones.” “If by ‘time’ we mean nothing more then happening, then everything is time. There is only that which exists in times” “…birth is suffering, decline is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering, union with that which we hate is suffering, separation from that which we love is suffering, failure to obtain what we desire is suffering. It’s suffering because we must lose what we have and are attached to. Because everything that begins must end. What causes us to suffer is not in the past or the future: it is here, now, in our memory, in our expectations. We long for timelessness…” And he gives us that by asserting that on the most fundamental level time does not exist -that there is no present- but I couldn’t follow him there - what is a kiss without lips.

  27. 5 out of 5

    CaptainWolfsborg

    The nature of time is one of the greatest open mysteries of the universe. How time actually works? Do humans exist in time or time exists in humans? How time passes? There are many questions related to a complex subject as time to ask, and answers are few. Carlo Rovelli, an Italian theoretical physicist, who spent a lifetime studying this subject, tries to reveal mysteries of time and he brings the reader closer to possible answers regarding time. Among other very interesting things, there’s an i The nature of time is one of the greatest open mysteries of the universe. How time actually works? Do humans exist in time or time exists in humans? How time passes? There are many questions related to a complex subject as time to ask, and answers are few. Carlo Rovelli, an Italian theoretical physicist, who spent a lifetime studying this subject, tries to reveal mysteries of time and he brings the reader closer to possible answers regarding time. Among other very interesting things, there’s an important chapter in this book where the author puts across the idea that reality is made of events rather that things. This is very powerful. This idea and writings about it is a gem in the book. As the author elegantly puts it—‘The world is made up of network of kisses, not of stones’. Further on, by understanding time, we can better understand what we humans are in metaphysical terms. If the reality is modelled as events, what are we humans? Since we can’t be entities by following this idea what then are we? The author provides a lot of good food for thought about this idea. The chapters in the end of the book, unfortunately, contains a little bit of confusion and contradictions (therefore on star off), but overall, it’s a wonderful little book about time. So if you got some time to explore time, it’s a good place to start.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    All I can say is that this book is delightful and amazing. I'll need to return to it again and again so I can keep absorbing what Rovelli has to share. All I can say is that this book is delightful and amazing. I'll need to return to it again and again so I can keep absorbing what Rovelli has to share.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    Occasionally, it's nice to sit back and ponder time and space. This book was mystical and scientific and illuminating. Some parts veered toward overly technical and some parts were overly flowery, but how could it not when it's trying to explain time itself? Occasionally, it's nice to sit back and ponder time and space. This book was mystical and scientific and illuminating. Some parts veered toward overly technical and some parts were overly flowery, but how could it not when it's trying to explain time itself?

  30. 5 out of 5

    D

    I agree with this review. I gave one star less because I would have appreciated some more equations together with their interpretations. I agree with this review. I gave one star less because I would have appreciated some more equations together with their interpretations.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...