Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time

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9780195117981: Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time

Why is the future so different from the past? Why does the past affect the future and not the other way around? What does quantum mechanics really tell us about the world? In this important and accessible book, Huw Price throws fascinating new light on some of the great mysteries of modern physics, and connects them in a wholly original way.
Price begins with the mystery of the arrow of time. Why, for example, does disorder always increase, as required by the second law of thermodynamics? Price shows that, for over a century, most physicists have thought about these problems the wrong way. Misled by the human perspective from within time, which distorts and exaggerates the differences between past and future, they have fallen victim to what Price calls the "double standard fallacy": proposed explanations of the difference between the past and the future turn out to rely on a difference which has been slipped in at the beginning, when the physicists themselves treat the past and future in different ways. To avoid this fallacy, Price argues, we need to overcome our natural tendency to think about the past and the future differently. We need to imagine a point outside time -- an Archimedean "view from nowhen" -- from which to observe time in an unbiased way.
Offering a lively criticism of many major modern physicists, including Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking, Price shows that this fallacy remains common in physics today -- for example, when contemporary cosmologists theorize about the eventual fate of the universe. The "big bang" theory normally assumes that the beginning and end of the universe will be very different. But if we are to avoid the double standard fallacy, we need to consider time symmetrically, and take seriously the possibility that the arrow of time may reverse when the universe recollapses into a "big crunch."
Price then turns to the greatest mystery of modern physics, the meaning of quantum theory. He argues that in missing the Archimedean viewpoint, modern physics has missed a radical and attractive solution to many of the apparent paradoxes of quantum physics. Many consequences of quantum theory appear counterintuitive, such as Schrodinger's Cat, whose condition seems undetermined until observed, and Bell's Theorem, which suggests a spooky "nonlocality," where events happening simultaneously in different places seem to affect each other directly. Price shows that these paradoxes can be avoided by allowing that at the quantum level the future does, indeed, affect the past. This demystifies nonlocality, and supports Einstein's unpopular intuition that quantum theory describes an objective world, existing independently of human observers: the Cat is alive or dead, even when nobody looks. So interpreted, Price argues, quantum mechanics is simply the kind of theory we ought to have expected in microphysics -- from the symmetric standpoint.
Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. In this exciting book, Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the mysteries of time to look at the world from the fresh perspective of Archimedes' Point and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, the universe around us, and our own place in time.

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About the Author:


Huw Price is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Facts and the Function of Truth (1988) and a wide range of articles in leading journals such as The Journal of Philosophy, Mind, and Nature.

Review:


"The book is a tour de force. Price addresses some of the most difficult issues in physics and philosophy, and offers highly original solutions. Yet the book is written in a style which assumes no previous knowledge, and will be accessible to any reader who is prepared to think hard."--Times Literary Supplement


"Time's Arrow is...a highly original and important contribution to the philosophy and physics of time. It is path-breaking in many areas, since it covers topics rarely treated by philosophers and offers novel solutions to many problems."--British Journal for the Philosophy of Science


"Price is a philosopher with a real grasp of fundamental physics. He offers an original slant on some profound issues, where our understanding has advanced little since the time of St. Augustine."--The Times


"[Huw Price] has taken a subject understood by a few experts and thrown open the door to the masses....Enjoy it as a feast for the imagination."--The Sunday Times (London)


"Price's book is a useful addition to the literature on time, particularly as it reveals the influence of modern science on the way a philosopher thinks."--New Scientist


"Succeeds with great clarity....The author has done physicists a great service in laying out so clearly and critically the nature of the various time-asymmetry problems of physics."--Nature


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Price, Huw
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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. splendidly provocative .enjoy it as a feast for the imagination. John Gribbin, Sunday Times Why is the future so different from the past? Why does the past affect the future and not the other way round? The universe began with the Big Bang - will it end with a Big Crunch ? This exciting book presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the paradoxes of time to look at the world from a fresh perspective and he throws fascinating new light on some of the great mysteries of the universe. a significant contribution, remarkable for its scope .written with great clarity and conviction. Ilya Prigogine, THES a useful addition to the literature on time, particularly as it reveals the influence of modern science on the way a philosopher thinks. Peter Coveney, New Scientist the author has done physicists a great service in laying out so clearly and critically the nature of the various time-asymmetry problems of physics. John Barrow, Nature a thoughtful (and thought-provoking) analysis of the time-asymmetry problem of physics which is in many ways deeper and more illuminating than accounts to be found elsewhere. Roger Penrose Huw Price is one of a handful of philosophers with a thorough grasp of the notorious arrow of time problem .Price applies critical reasoning and penetrating insight to the current theories of physics and cosmology that have a bearing on this problem. Among the many ideas discussed here is the controversial claim that time s arrow would reverse in a recontracting universe. Paul Davies. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780195117981

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. splendidly provocative .enjoy it as a feast for the imagination. John Gribbin, Sunday Times Why is the future so different from the past? Why does the past affect the future and not the other way round? The universe began with the Big Bang - will it end with a Big Crunch ? This exciting book presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the paradoxes of time to look at the world from a fresh perspective and he throws fascinating new light on some of the great mysteries of the universe. a significant contribution, remarkable for its scope .written with great clarity and conviction. Ilya Prigogine, THES a useful addition to the literature on time, particularly as it reveals the influence of modern science on the way a philosopher thinks. Peter Coveney, New Scientist the author has done physicists a great service in laying out so clearly and critically the nature of the various time-asymmetry problems of physics. John Barrow, Nature a thoughtful (and thought-provoking) analysis of the time-asymmetry problem of physics which is in many ways deeper and more illuminating than accounts to be found elsewhere. Roger Penrose Huw Price is one of a handful of philosophers with a thorough grasp of the notorious arrow of time problem .Price applies critical reasoning and penetrating insight to the current theories of physics and cosmology that have a bearing on this problem. Among the many ideas discussed here is the controversial claim that time s arrow would reverse in a recontracting universe. Paul Davies. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780195117981

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. splendidly provocative .enjoy it as a feast for the imagination. John Gribbin, Sunday Times Why is the future so different from the past? Why does the past affect the future and not the other way round? The universe began with the Big Bang - will it end with a Big Crunch ? This exciting book presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the paradoxes of time to look at the world from a fresh perspective and he throws fascinating new light on some of the great mysteries of the universe. a significant contribution, remarkable for its scope .written with great clarity and conviction. Ilya Prigogine, THES a useful addition to the literature on time, particularly as it reveals the influence of modern science on the way a philosopher thinks. Peter Coveney, New Scientist the author has done physicists a great service in laying out so clearly and critically the nature of the various time-asymmetry problems of physics. John Barrow, Nature a thoughtful (and thought-provoking) analysis of the time-asymmetry problem of physics which is in many ways deeper and more illuminating than accounts to be found elsewhere. Roger Penrose Huw Price is one of a handful of philosophers with a thorough grasp of the notorious arrow of time problem .Price applies critical reasoning and penetrating insight to the current theories of physics and cosmology that have a bearing on this problem. Among the many ideas discussed here is the controversial claim that time s arrow would reverse in a recontracting universe. Paul Davies. Nº de ref. de la librería BZE9780195117981

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Descripción Oxford University Press, USA 12/4/1997, 1997. Paperback or Softback. Estado de conservación: New. Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería BBS-9780195117981

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