He argues that relativistic "block time" is no more a "true portrait of objective time" than any other theory. In Rovelli's view remember there is no such thing as "objective time". This book reviewed by me on Amazon makes precisely the opposite case from that of Rovelli. Of course they recognize what Relativity and quantum mechanics imply about time, but they maintain, nevertheless, that a notion and reality of objective, "universal time", is more fundamental than any other phenomena of the universe, even more than space!
Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli offers eloquent meditation on physics | News & Observer
Rovelli mentions this book in a footnote and admits that Unger and Smolin's view "is defensible", but he leaves it there and never addresses what is defensible about it. Personally I agree with Smolin and Unger. The fact thanks to limiting effect of the speed of light that we cannot map our present to any present in a remote galaxy, or even the nearest star does not mean there is no present there, in fact everywhere.
Something is happening, NOW, everywhere in the universe. We do not know what it is, but that does not mean the present isn't real as Rovelli believes. Had Rovelli directly addressed Unger and Smolin I would have given this book another star.
Italian physicist's book on Einstein's relativity theory becomes surprise hit
Had he not mentioned them at all, I would have taken another away. In summary this is a decent and well written book advocating for a particular view of time or no time that I happen to think is wrong, but what do I know? It happens to be the dominant view in physics today. Rovelli is a well respected physicist and a good writer. Those of you interested in the subject will find this book valuable whether you agree with the author or not.
The Order of Time is one of the few books that can change the perception of the world as we see it. Knot of knots in a network of social relations, in a network of chemical processes, in a network of emotions exchanged with its own kind. Without low entropy, energy would be diluted into uniform heat and the world would go to sleep in a state of thermal equilibrium - there would no longer be any distinction between past and future, and nothing would happen.
Traces of the past exist, and not traces of the future, only because entropy was low in the past. It probably should be read more than once. The final thoughts of the writer on the meaning of life and death are also beautiful. Almost a little poetic. The book is written in an intelligible way. An abstract journey sure to inform and entertain. Otherwise he is an Italian theoretical physicist that specializes in quantum gravity and is a proponent, if not quite an advocate, of loop theory.
Beyond that he is a philosopher with a heart for ancient poetry and love. And he brings all of it to bear in this delightful book about time, which, in the end, is life, and everything, including the context in which it unfolds. What I like most about the book is the fact that Rovelli recognizes that philosophy and science, if not two sides of the same coin, are cousins.
You will, however, have to be willing to think abstractly, a skill that in our wired, binary world seems to be greatly dissipating. And he is the first scientist I have read in a while who takes time to explain why the problem is sometimes not the science itself, but the limitations of language. Language is a human construction and has not kept up with our scientific revelation.
Which is why theoretical physicists sometimes seem to be speaking another language. If only there was another language that was constructed in the world as we know it today, our communication would be so much easier and our knowledge would expand more rapidly. It would be impossible to summarize the knowledge contained in this book. You really have to read it.
Here is a start, however: People never used to worry about clocks. They worried about the cycle of sunshine and darkness.
But that cycle is different in every single village, town, and city on the planet. The cycle varies both east to west and north to south. But then the scientists and engineers invented trains to take us from one village to the next. And people needed to know when the train left their village. But how can you develop a timetable when every village has its own time?
China actually has no time zones by edict. The entire country is on Beijing time and there are significant practical limitations. Time zones are a construct and practical in the local sense, but highly inaccurate when talking about the universe. Eastern philosophers believe that reality is not knowable. It is real, but is made up of an infinite number of variables.
We can only comprehend or think about a handful at a time. A tree is real.
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I can touch it and smell it. But it is not entirely knowable because there are too many variables e. Time is the same way. Time is real but it is not knowable. Throw in the limitations of language and it begins to look like an illusion. Think of a Seurat painting that has been blacked out. The key to our understanding to date, however, is the second law of thermodynamics which states that entropy can never decrease. If entropy could work both ways it would explain a lot, but attraction does not equal fact.
Entropy obviously has a big role in causality, of course. Bidirectional entropy would be a huge boost for inductive reason. Beyond writing in an accessible way, Rovelli comes off as very personable. The perfect person to sit down and share a cup of coffee with. If only he had the time. The range of materials we provide across our academic and higher education titles are an integral part of the book package whether you are a student, instructor, researcher or professional.
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Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity
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Design Science is an international open access journal publishing original quantitative and qualitative research…. It is just knowledge. No one form of knowledge — humanistic or scientific — trumps another, he argued. If I read Einstein, I learn more about nature. Rovelli, who lives in Marseille, started writing 10 years ago and said most of his time working on the slim blue book was spent editing, not writing.
I took away the parts that were boring, not interesting.