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The Arrow of Time: A Voyage Through Science to Solve Time's Greatest Mystery
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The Arrow of Time: A Voyage Through Science to Solve Time's Greatest Mystery

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  11 reviews
"Straightforward...Scholarly...Intellectually rich...Manages to capture the excitement and puzzlement of time." SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Hardcover, 378 pages
Published May 14th 1991 by Fawcett (first published 1988)
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Tough sledding but worth the effort. Coveney tackles the anomaly of time. Other aspects of physics submit to equations that work mathematically which means that they work in either direction. Time is different. Many physicists sidestep this issue, not Coveney who devotes this book to analyzing the problem and introducing leading theories about why time travels in only one direction.
Bryan Higgs
It could have been a great book, but fell far short:
1) The writing style was turgid,
2) Too much credit was given to Ilya Prigogine and his Brussels School, and
3) They talked endlessly about "dissipative irreversible systems" without showing how they might explain the arrow of time, rather than being merely evidence for it.

In more detail:

I just finished slogging through this book. It was not much fun, and neither was it terribly enlightening. I found the writing style to be rather turgid; there
The authors, one a science writer and the other a physicist - both British - provide a popular but robust survey of the current representation of time in scientific research. Basic physical theories of the cosmological and the microscopic contain no arrow of time as humans experience it. Newtonian mechanics, general relativity, and quantum mechanics are time invariant in the sense that the systems these theories describe are reversible. But thermodynamics, the authors argue, particularly explora ...more
Gran introducción a la entropía en los sistemas físicos y biológicos. A pesar de que los choques atómicos son reversibles y viendo dos átomos chocar no sabemos si nos están pasando una película hacia atrás hacia delante, parece que todos los procesos sólo pueden ir en na dirección. Ese es el efecto e la entropía. La introducción es clara y muy completa. Cosas que al principio parecen esotéricas van cobrando forma y, sin ecuaciones, uno llega a sentirse cómodo con el proceso de aumento de desorde ...more
The author mentions Ilya Prigogine even more often than Mr Collins refers to Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice, and in a manner that reminds me of Mr Collins!!!

However there are some very good points in the book, but it felt repetitive towards the end. I learned something interesting about irrational numbers too
Time seems, in our perception, to "flow" from past to future, although nothing in classical physics, relativity, or quantum mechanics requires that this be so. So what's the dilly-o? This is the question that this book explores. Be warned: it gets pretty science-y.
An excellent book that tries to answer the question of what is time and can it flow backwards?
Essentially humans depend on circadian clocks to conceive and understand time, this clock is irrelevant to the rest of the universe, possibly time does not exist.
Ashish Jaituni
I read it many many years ago! It is a very good book. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in Time and Physics.
Les Weiler
Interesting overview of time as it applies to broader science.
A pleasant mind fuck. Kinda boring though.
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