<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution (Davies (Paul C.W.)) - Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</title> <link href="../../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../../TT_ICO.png" /> </head> <a name="Top"></a> <BODY> <div id="header"> <HR><H1>Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</H1></div> <hr><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../BookSummary_6346.htm">About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution</A></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../../../Authors/D/Author_Davies (Paul C.W.).htm">Davies (Paul C.W.)</a></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3>This Page provides (where held) the <b>Abstract</b> of the above <b>Book</b> and those of all the <b>Papers</b> contained in it.</td></tr><tr><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td><td><A HREF = "../BookCitings_6346.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Book</A></td><td><A HREF = "../BooksToNotes_6346.htm">Notes Citing this Book</A></td></tr></tr></TABLE></CENTER><hr> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>BOOK ABSTRACT: </B><BR><BR><u>Back Cover Blurb</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>What is time? Did it have a beginning? What makes it appear to flow? Why is there a directionality, or 'arrow', of time, and can it ever be reversed? Is <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>1</SUP> possible? And might the universe be older than we thought? </li><li>The puzzles and paradoxes of time have dazzled the world's finest thinkers and throughout the ages philosophers have wrestled with the tensions between time and eternity, linear time and cyclicity, being and becoming. When Einstein formulated his theory of relativity early this century, it brought about a revolution in our understanding of time, yet also presented a new set of mysteries. Einstein's time can be warped, leading to bizarre possibilities such as black holes and <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>2</SUP>, while making nonsense of our perception of a 'now' and a division of time into past, present and future. In relation to quantum physics, time takes on even stranger aspects. </li><li>In this, his latest book, acclaimed physicist and writer Paul Davies confronts the tough questions about time, including the weird relationship between physical time and our psychological perception of it. He gives straightforward descriptions of topics such as the theory of relativity, time dilation and Hawking's 'imaginary time'. Davies concludes that despite decades of progress in unravelling the mysteries of time, the revolution begun by Einstein remains tantalizingly incomplete. </li></ol></FONT><BR><u>Author s Preface</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>This is the second book I have written on the subject of time. The first, published in <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_B6346_3">1974</A></U><SUB>3</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_B6346_3"></A>, was intended for professional physicists. I always intended to write another book on this subject, for the wider public, but somehow I never found the time. At last I have accomplished it. Fascination with the riddle of time is as old as human thought. The earliest written records betray confusion and anxiety over the nature of time. Much of Greek philosophy was concerned with making sense of the concepts of eternity versus transience. The subject of time is central to all the world's religions, and has for centuries been the source of much doctrinal conflict. </li><li>Although time entered science as a measurable quantity with the work of Galileo and Newton, it is only in the present century that it has developed into a subject in its own right. Albert Einstein, more than anyone else, is responsible for this advance. The story of time in the twentieth century is overwhelmingly the story of Einstein's time. Although I have sketched biographical details where appropriate, this book is not a biography of Einstein, because several such have appeared since his centenary in 1979. Nor did I set out to write a systematic and comprehensive study of time. Instead, I have chosen a selection of topics that I personally find particularly intriguing or mysterious, and used them to illustrate the general principles of time as we have come to understand them. </li><li>Although Einstein's theory of relativity is nearly a century old, its bizarre predictions are still not widely known. Invariably people learn of them with delight, fear and perplexity. Much of the book is devoted to covering the more straightforward consequences of the theory; the broad conclusion I reach, however, is that we are far from having a good grasp of the concept of time. Einstein's work triggered a revolution in our understanding of the subject, but the consequences have yet to be fully worked out. Much of the theory of relativity remains uncharted territory, and crucial topics, like the possibility of <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time travel</A><SUP>4</SUP>, have only very recently received attention. There are also major problems which hint at deep-seated limitations of the theory; discrepancies concerning the age of the universe and obstacles to unifying Einstein's time with quantum physics are two of the more persistent difficulties. Perhaps more worryingly, Einstein's time is seriously at odds with time as we human beings experience it. All this leads me to believe that we must embrace Einstein's ideas, but move on. The orthodox account of time frequently leaves us stranded, surrounded by a welter of puzzles and paradoxes. In my view, Einstein's time is inadequate to explain fully the physical universe and our perception of it. </li><li>The scientific study of time has proved to be disturbing, disorienting and startling. It is also befuddling. I have written this book for the reader with no specialist scientific or mathematical knowledge. Technical jargon is kept to a minimum, and numerical values are avoided except where absolutely necessary. However, I cannot deny that the subject is complex and intellectually challenging. To try and ease the pain a bit, I have resorted to the device of introducing a tame imaginary skeptic, who may from time to time voice the reader's own objections or queries. Nevertheless, you may well be even more confused about time after reading this book than you were before. That's all right; I was more confused myself after writing.it. </li><li>Many people have helped me shape my ideas of time over the years. I have especially benefited from discussions and debate with John Barrow, George Efstathiou, Murray Gell-Mann, Ian Moss, James Hartle, Stephen Hawking, Don Page, Roger Penrose, Frank Tipler, William Unruh and John Wheeler& </li></ol></FONT><BR><u>Chapters</u><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1">Preface  9 <BR>Prologue  13 <li>A Very Brief History of Time  21 <ul type="disc"><li>Whose time is it anyway?  21 </li><li>The quest for eternity  23</li><li>Escape from time  25 </li><li>Cyclic worlds and the eternal return  28 </li><li>Newton's time and the clockwork universe  29</li><li>Einstein's time  32 </li><li>Is the universe dying?  33 </li><li>The return of the eternal return  36 </li><li>The start of it all  38 </li><li>It happens when it happens  40</li></ul></li><li>Time for a Change  44 <ul type="disc"><li>A gift from heaven  44 </li><li>Goodbye to the ether  48</li><li>A timely solution  51 </li><li>Interlude  54 </li><li>Stretching time  55</li><li>The puzzle of the twins  59 </li><li>Goodbye to the present  65</li><li>Time is money  67 </li><li>Timescape  70 </li></ul></li><li>Timewarps  78 <ul type="disc"><li>The light barrier  78 </li><li>Perpetual motion and the uphill struggle  84 </li><li>Why time runs faster in space  87 </li><li>The clock in the box  90 </li><li>The best clock in the universe  96 </li><li>The echo that arrived late  99 </li><li>Going up in the world  100 </li></ul></li><li>Black Holes; Gateways to the End of Time  104 <ul type="disc"><li>Warp factor infinity  104 </li><li>A dark mystery  108 </li><li>Penetrating the magic circle  111</li><li>A singular problem  113 </li><li>Beyond the end of time  120 </li><li>Are they really out there?  122</li></ul></li><li>The Beginning of Time; When Exactly Was It?  126 <ul type="disc"><li>The great clock in the sky  126 </li><li>The big bang, and what happened before it  129 </li><li>Older than the universe?  132 </li><li>Einstein's greatest mistake  135 </li><li>Two-timing the cosmos  140</li></ul></li><li>Einstein's Greatest Triumph?  146 <ul type="disc"><li>The handwriting of God  146 </li><li>Did the big bang ever happen?  149 </li><li>What's a few billion years among friends?  152 </li><li>A repulsive problem  157 </li><li>The loitering universe  159</li></ul></li><li>Quantum Time  163<ul type="disc"><li>Time to tunnel  163 </li><li>Watched kettles  166 </li><li>Erasing the past  168 </li><li>Spooky signals and psychic particles  173 </li><li>Faster than light?  177 </li><li>The time vanishes!  178</li></ul></li><li>Imaginary Time  183<ul type="disc"><li>The two cultures revisited  183 </li><li>How time got started  185</li><li>The Hartle-Hawking theory  188 </li><li>Imaginary clocks  192</li></ul></li><li>The Arrow of Time  196<ul type="disc"><li>Catching the wave  196 </li><li>Signals from the future  201 </li><li>A matter of time reversal  204 </li><li>The particle that can tell the time  208 </li><li>The lopsided universe  213</li></ul></li><li>Backwards in Time  219<ul type="disc"><li>Into reverse  219 </li><li>Thinking backwards  222 </li><li>Antiworlds  224</li><li>Winding the clock back  226 </li><li>Hawking's greatest mistake  230 </li><li>A time for everybody  231</li></ul></li><li><a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">Time Travel</A><SUP>5</SUP>; Fact or Fantasy?  233 <ul type="disc"><li>Signaling the past  233 </li><li>Visiting the past  236 </li><li>Black-hole <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1133.htm">time machines</A><SUP>6</SUP>  243 </li><li>Wormholes and strings  245 </li><li>Paradox  249</li></ul></li><li>But What Time Is It Now?  252 <ul type="disc"><li>Can time really flow?  252 </li><li>The myth of passage  255 </li><li>Does the arrow of time fly?  256 </li><li>Why now?  258</li></ul></li><li>Experimenting with Time  265<ul type="disc"><li>How long does the present last?  265 </li><li>Now you see it, now you don't  267 </li><li>Filling in time  269 </li><li>Subjective time  272 </li><li>The back door to our minds  275</li></ul></li><li>The Unfinished Revolution  279 </li><li>Epilogue  284 <BR>Notes  287 <BR>Bibliography  293 <BR>Index  295 </li></ol></FONT><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U> (<a name="6"></a>"<A HREF = "../../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_06/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_6346.htm">Davies (Paul C.W.) - About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution</A>")</B><a name="On-Page_Link_B6346_3"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_B6346_3"><B>Footnote 3</B></A></U>: <em>The Physics of Time Asymmetry</em>. <BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR><B>BOOK COMMENT: </B><BR><BR>Penguin; New edition (25 April 1996)</P> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><hr><br><B><U>Text Colour Conventions</U> (see <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</B><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> </center> <BR><HR><BR><center> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T05:15" pubdate>02/08/2018 05:15:17</time> <br><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A> </TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>