In our century, the subject of time has become an area of serious inquiry for science. Theories that contain time as a simple quantity form the basis of our understanding of many scientific disciplines, yet the debate rages on: why does there seem to be a direction to time, an arrow of time pointing from past to future?
In this authoritative and accessible Sunday Times bestseller, physical chemist Dr Peter Coveney and award-winning science journalist Dr Roger Highfield demonstrate that the common sense view of time agrees with the most advanced scientific theory. Time does in fact move like an arrow, shooting forward into what is genuinely unknown, leaving the past immutably behind. The authors make their case by exploring three centuries of science, offering bold reinterpretations of Newton’s mechanics, Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity, quantum mechanics, and advancing the insights of chaos theory. In their voyage through science the authors link apparently irreconcilable subjects, from Einstein’s obsession with causality to chaos theory, from Marvell’s winged chariot to that Monday morning feeling.
Finally, drawing together the various interpretations of time, they describe a novel way to give it a sense of direction. And they call for a new fundamental theory to take account of the Arrow of Time.
Foreword by Ilya Prigogine, Nobel laureate.
"It can be recommended as an instant guide to such mysteries as quantum theory, relativity and chaos."
"This is an important book ... I heartily commend this volume."
"A tour de force."