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Hardcover In Search of Time: The Science of a Curious Dimension Book

ISBN: 031237478X

ISBN13: 9780312374785

In Search of Time: The Science of a Curious Dimension

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Time surrounds us. It defines our experience of the world; it echoes through our every waking hour. Time is the very foundation of conscious experience. Yet as familiar as it is, time is also deeply... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An accessible entry into the world of Time

This is an excellent book for regular people that have some interest in the subject of Time. The author covers several aspects involving Time, from historical evidence of when civilizations first started understanding and taking advantage of time, to the philosophical Time, to the latest scientific concepts and theories around Time. The book is excellently written. The first part of the book takes us through the evolution of time in history and in different cultures/civilizations and is written in such a way that the reader is always excited to find out what the next page will tell us about Time. The second part of the book, more focused in the scientific aspect of Time, explains how Time has been dealt with in the major breakthroughs of science, from Newton to Einsten and Hawking. Having tried to read other science books and gotten lost along the technical concepts, the author did a very good job in shielding the reader from the deepness of such concepts and theories and explained them in a very accessible manner.

A Must Read

The book is excellent specially if you dont have a technical background (e.i Physics etc). Took me just a week to read it, the reading is easy yet extremely interesting. I was gonna buy it to re-sell it later on but im keeping this one for my personal library. A must have...I dont say that about a lot books...:)


Part everything you ever wanted to know, part up to the minute (no pun intended) survey of the latest science, this book is one of those easy to read, accessible 200 or so page scientific tomes that so seem to dominate science bookshelves. But it's also a wonderful one volume treatment of its intended topic, right up there with About Time by Paul Davies and Hyperspace by Michio Kaku. In brief this book treats the various arrows of time from the one we psychologically perceive right down to the one at the subatomic level. Though Falk's treatment of the history of time and how we got the sixty minute hour is fascinating (thank the Babylonians he says), I think this book is at best discussing the cutting edge science. And in terms of the cutting edge science it all boils down to one question: Is Julius Caesar still alive? Though the gut answer is that Caesar is long dead such a view runs contrary to modern science which says that mathematics provides no justification for saying that any one time in time is more preferred than another. In this way, Caesar's apparent death is merely "a stubbornly persistent illusion" as Einstein would put it. And as Newton puts it (who still remains a special case of Einstein) gravity reduces its grip as part of a straight forward inverse square calculation. The big deal: If we were really living in a four dimensional world, gravity would reduces its grip as part of an inverse cube calculation...a mathematical proof the passage of time that seems so obvious to us is merely a human generated illusion. In this way, our perception of the passage of time is like the deliciousness of steak or the pleasant smell of flowers...a user illusion put their (albeit for good evolutionary reasons) by our consciousness. Whether you agree with all this or not (I personally think both Caesar and Elvis are dead) it still remains fascinating reading and an interesting take on a topic we all too easily can take for granted. For those time fans who've read this book as well the previous Kaku and Davies entries, I would also suggest The End of Time by Julian Barbour, the Time Machine by H.G. Wells both mentioned by this author and for the ambitious the Fifth Edition of the Physical Basis for the Direction of Time by Dieter Zee.

If you're interested in one of the fundamental questions of nature, this book is for you

In this book, Mr. Falk gives the reader a broad survey of current and ancient thinking about a question that has vexed humanity since the beginning: what is the nature of time? One of the difficulties with the question is that we don't even have a universally accepted definition of what time actually "is". For most of recorded history the topic of time was the domain of philosphy and physics. Mr. Falk walks the reader through the main philosophical theories about time and then shows how Isaac Newton decisively brought time into the grip of physical science. A couple of centuries later, Einstein overthrew some of our misconceptions about time and showed that time, like space, is not absolute but relative. Mr. Falk explains some of the key conclusions of Einstein's theories of special and general relativity in a way that a general reader can easily follow. In more recent times, Mr. Falk informs us, psychologists and cognitive scientists have begun tackling the subject of time as they systematically probe the nature of the human mind. By the way, the mind and the nature of consciousness is another 'little' subject that will continue to defy us for the forseable future. In addition to the philosophical and scientific theories about time, the book also covers cultural and sociological aspects of how humans deal with time. The language and diction of book are of high caliber.

Broad in Scope Yet Satisfying in Depth

In twelve fascinating chapters, the author discusses the vast subject of time. Each of these chapters contains a different perspective on this fascinating yet elusive topic. Roughly the first half of the book includes chapters on: humanity's early recognition of, and musings on, the passage of time, the development of the calendar, the invention of hours and minutes, as well as the cultural and psychological aspects of time. The second half of the book mainly deals with the physical, scientific and philosophical aspects of time, from Isaac Newton's perspective to the latest abstract thinking on the nature and existence of time. Here we find discussions on time's arrow, the beginning and the end of time as well as classical, relativistic and quantum mechanics. The writing style is clear, friendly, quite engaging and accessible to a wide readership. The author takes the time to explain any terms that may be unfamiliar to the casual reader but does not pull any punches when it comes to relaying the views of the various individuals, mainly scientists and philosophers, which he consulted in writing this book. Although anyone can enjoy it, this book would likely be appreciated the most by science buffs.
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