One of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals offers a radical new view of the nature of time, and explores its implications for everything from physics and cosmology to economics and climate change.
What is time?
It’s the sort of question we rarely ask because it seems so obvious. And yet, to a physicist, time is simply a human construct and an illusion: if you could somehow get outside the universe and observe it from there, you would see that every moment has always existed and always will. Lee Smolin disagrees, and in Time Reborn he lays out the case why.
Developments in physics and cosmology point toward the reality of time and the openness of the future. Smolin’s groundbreaking theory postulates that physical laws can evolve over time and the future is not yet determined. Newton’s fundamental laws may not remain so fundamental. Time Reborn serves as a popular primer and investigation of time, both what it is and how the true nature of it impacts our world.
"...at once entertaining, thought-provoking, fabulously ambitious and fabulously speculative.”—New York Times Book Review
"He challenges not only Einstein’s relativity, but also the very notion of natural laws as immutable truths."—Economist
“One of the essential books of the twenty-first century . . . Smolin provides a much-needed dose of clarity about time, with implications that go far beyond physics to economics, politics, and personal philosophy.”—Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget
About the Author
LEE SMOLIN is a theoretical physicist who has made influential contributions to the search for a unification of physics. He is a founding faculty member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is the author of several books including TheTrouble with Physics, Einstein's Unfinished Revolution, The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time, Time Reborn, Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, and The Life of the Cosmos.
"[Smolin’s] book, a mix of science, philosophy and science fiction, is at once entertaining, thought-provoking, fabulously ambitious and fabulously speculative." —The New York Times "Provocative, original, and unsettling." —The New York Review of Books "Brilliant…Smolin gives what is, for me, the best analysis of the nature of time from a physics viewpoint in a popular science book I have ever seen." —Popular Science "Smolin provides a much-needed dose of clarity about time, with implications that go far beyond physics to economics, politics, and personal philosophy. An essential book for physicists and non-physicists alike, Time Reborn offers a path to better theory and potentially to a better society." —Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget and The Fate of Power and the Future of Dignity "Applying his deep mastery of cosmology, quantum mechanics, general relativity and all the diverse attempts at quantum gravity, in Time RebornLee Smolin weaves a convincing and entirely new view of reality. He shows us how contemporary physics eliminates time and argues persuasively that any adequate cosmology rests on making time and ‘now’ fundamental." —Stuart Kauffman, University of Vermont, author of At Home in the Universe "Smolin is an excellent writer, a creative thinker and is ecumenical in the way he covers so many different branches of thought. Even as I mentally argued with this book, I kept on ploughing through to see how Smolin dealt with the objections. I would love to sit down with him over a drink and debate the ins and outs of his theory. And that is how this book should be read: as an account that makes you ask questions." —Nature "An entertaining, head-spinning and, yes, timely blend of philosophy, science, and speculation to put the Now back into physics." —The Telegraph "An energetic case for a paradigm shift that could produce mind-boggling changes in the way we experience our world." —Publishers Weekly "A thoughtful, complex re-evaluation of the role of time in the universe…A flood of ideas from an imaginative thinker." —Kirkus "With rare conceptual daring, Smolin beckons toward a new perspective for doing cosmological theory…A thrilling intellectual ride!"—Booklist (starred review) —