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The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 16. März 2000

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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


In this book, theoretical physicist Julian Barbour describes the coming revolution in physics: 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).

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Amazon.com: 3.5 von 5 Sternen 4 Rezensionen
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Seeds of a work beyond our Time 17. Januar 2009
Von Ali M. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I'm not a physicist by profession though I conduct my own general inquiries into foundational issues of mathematical physics. I have read this book and I am deeply impressed and intrigued by the whole wealth of ideas and research works used by Julian to formulate his key concepts. As I read about Julian's life I find him a very committed scientist to probe deeper issues. While this book avoids explicit use of mathematical equations nevertheless, one needs to do a background study on his referenced papers in order to understand arguing grounds of this book.

There is only Quantum Statics! This is the key concept (and also mathematically argued) main theme of this book as Julian himself puts this on 2nd paragraph of page 253.

Now in my view this goes against all the impressions and ideas we have from what is generally considered as changing/temporal universe. It is so obvious that all is about motion and change and (almost) all formulations of general relativity and quantum mechanics do involve a time coordinate in order to capture this so basic observation, rate of change!

This is where Julian goes beyond or (deeper into) generally introduced framework of physics and attempts to introduce a Machian formulation of general relativity to probe into roots of (apparent) conflict among unification efforts of Quantum Mechanics with General Relativity: introduce a space of all possible relative configurations, called Platonia, which contains all possible relative configurations of everything that could ever exist(I'm adding some bits of my own wording here) and try to employ intriguing concepts/tools like `Best Matching' and `Machian Distinguished Simplifier' to trace how a notion of change comes into our ordinary formulation of dynamics. I consider these as requisites to grasp this book. Julian uses simple examples to convey his concepts.

As much as I understand Julian's works, it could be the implications of ideas are so powerful that if understood properly and imagined for their repercussions, they would open a door to a new view of workings of universe, reconciliation of classical field theories is one of them plus hint at deeper imports of gauge fields as derivative of Best Matching (expert readers may refer to Bruno Bertotti's papers in this regard).

I would rather not make any philosophical conclusions for the message that our universe is actually is static universe but I would encourage those readers of Heidegger's works in phenomenology of time and being to match Julian's ideas with Martin Heidegger's open ended inquiries.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in nature of time; there are many other books written on the subject but this one is an exception. As for me it helped me with better understanding of classical dynamics.

8 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen not for the layperson 21. August 2009
Von Stephen P. Kennedy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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I purchased this book because it was advertised as being readable even by a layperson (someone not particular scientifically literate). My impression after reading the book is that you will not get much out of it unless you have a strong scientific background. I would like to hear from others who disagree with my assessment.
1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Absolutely Fasinating 26. Januar 2014
Von David Milliern - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This book was a disappointment, yet it is undeniably a five-star book. This is a testament to the originality and brilliance of Julian Barbour and what we have come to expect from him (which he fell short of, thus the disappointment). The book does have numerous downsides, but, for all it lacks and fails at, it more than makes up for with creativity and arrangements of ideas. The overarching idea, itself, is extraordinarily fascinating and heterodox: reconciling the Eleatic School’s thinking that there is no such thing as motion (it’s only an appearance) with Platonic philosophy. Barbour attempts to use facts in modern physics, mixed with some (slightly speculative) Machian mechanics, to illustrate that time does not exist, instead, the objects of the world are time slices that are arranged so as to create successions of slices like a cartoon flipbook. The laws governing the arrangements of time slices in “Platonia,” the collection of all possible world representations, are largely quantum mechanical. It is very difficult to synopsize the theory in only a few words, but it is wildly creative, making for an enjoyable read. It should be noted that this is not a book that is strictly of the type of popular physics book that Michio Kaku writes. This work is a philosophical and physics-oriented (technical detail is spared, though), as much as it is a popular physics book. With that understanding in mind, I recommend this book to all. However, there are some downsides to be aware of, before reading.

Among the downsides is the fact that the book is not easily understood. It is in some places, but not others, and it is especially obtuse in the early going, when Barbour is explaining his thesis. Perhaps the thing that most frustrated me is that his diagrams probably added more confusion than they did clarify anything, in most cases. Also, I don’t really think Barbour filled in all of the details that maybe he could have, and some parts of the book were tenuously connected —in some places, through great bouts of reflection upon the text, I could figure out the rationale for the text’s construction, in others, I could not. The book is written well, but I felt Barbour had much more to say about his ideas that could have made things clearer. It should be clear that the actually writing is incredibly intelligent, witty, at times, and very enjoyable. I even think that he, like Nick Huggett, virtually have the perfect style for how I think a a popular physics book should be written: the text is very readable, diagrams are placed within the text where they could be most efficacious, and technical material is added in boxes, so as not to impose upon the actual text, but to allow intellectuals, college students, and academicians to get the most out of the text. Popular physics books accessible to the lay reader and to the technically knowledgeable makes for tremendous literature.

From a more intellectual standpoint, the major shortcoming of the book is that Barbour is apparently not familiar with philosophy of time literature. For instance, in discussing time slices as the fundamental ontological objects in our universe, he offers no response to literature that opposes presentism, such as the literature that supposes the special theory of relativity as incompatible with time slices that represent a global “now.”

Nonetheless, this book is of such originality, its arguments (though not exhaustive) are fresh, and the writing is downright entertaining, I can’t help myself but to recommend it to pretty much everyone. My disappointment was in the frustration of having these beautiful ideas before me and wanting so badly wanting to understand it better, which the text did not allow. (Subsequently, I took to watching Barbour’s talks, including the one given at the Perimeter Institute, which I also recommend.) I think the less experienced and less able readers should just hang in there, and try to get as much out of the text as is possible. It will pay dividends.
2 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Hard to tell if it was actually written in English 4. Oktober 2014
Von John Grillos - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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I did not understand a word of it. I guess it was written for scientists.
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