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In Time Reborn, Lee Smolin, one of our foremost physicists and thinkers offers a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos
Nothing seems more real than time passing. We experience life itself as a succession of moments. Yet throughout history, the idea that time is an illusion has been a religious and philosophical commonplace. We identify certain truths as 'eternal' constants, from moral principles to the laws of mathematics and nature: these are laws that exist not inside time, but outside it. From Newton and Einstein to today's string theorists and quantum physicists, the widest consensus is that the universe is governed by absolute, timeless laws.
In Time Reborn, Lee Smolin argues that this denial of time is holding back both physics, and our understanding of the universe. We need a major revolution in scientific thought: one that embraces the reality of time and places it at the centre of our thinking. E may equal mc squared now, but that wasn't always the case. Similarly, as our understanding of the universe develops, Newton's fundamental laws might not remain so fundamental. Time, Smolin concludes, is not an illusion: it is the best clue we have to fundamental reality. Time Reborn explains how the true nature of time impacts on us, our world, and our universe.
'The strongest dose of clarity in written form to have come along in decades. The implications go far beyond physics, to economics, politics, and personal philosophy. Time Reborn places reality above theory in stronger and clearer terms than ever before, and the result is a path to better theory and potentially to a better society as well. Will no doubt be remembered as one of the essential books of the 21st century' Jaron Lanier
[Praise for Lee Smolin's The Trouble With Physics]:
'The best book about contemporary science written for the layman that I have ever read . . . Read this book. Twice' Sunday Times
'Unusually broad and deep . . . his critical judgments are exceptionally penetrating' Roger Penrose
'Brave, uniquely well-informed . . . does a tremendous job' Mail on Sunday
Lee Smolin is a theoretical physicist who has made important contributions to the search for quantum gravity. Born in New York City, he was educated at Hampshire College and Harvard University. Since 2001 he is a founding faculty member at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His three earlier books explore philosophical issues raised by contemporary physics and cosmology. They are Life of the Cosmos (1997), Three Roads to Quantum Gravity (2001) and The Trouble with Physics (2006). He lives in Toronto.