You are reading the word now right now. But what does that mean? What makes the ephemeral moment now so special? Its enigmatic character has bedeviled philosophers, priests, and modern-day physicists from Augustine to Einstein and beyond. Einstein showed that the flow of time is affected by both velocity and gravity, yet he despaired at his failure to explain the meaning of now. Equally puzzling: Why does time flow? Some physicists have given up trying to understand and call the flow of time an illusion, but eminent experimentalist physicist Richard A. Muller protests. He says physics should explain reality, not deny it.
In Now, Muller does more than poke holes in past ideas; he crafts his own revolutionary theory, one that makes testable predictions. He begins by laying out - with the refreshing clarity that made Physics for Future Presidents so successful - a firm and remarkably clear explanation of the physics building blocks of his theory: relativity, entropy, entanglement, antimatter, and the big bang. With the stage thus set, he reveals a startling way forward.
Muller points out that the standard big bang theory explains the ongoing expansion of the universe as the continuous creation of new space. He argues that time is also expanding and that the leading edge of the new time is what we experience as now. This thought-provoking vision has remarkable implications for some of our biggest questions, not only in physics but also in philosophy, including the ongoing debate about the reality of free will. Moreover, his theory is testable. Muller's monumental work will spark major debate about the most fundamental assumptions of our universe and may crack one of physics' longest-standing enigmas.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2016 Richard A. Muller (P)2016 Random House Audio
Finishing this book was arduous.
The taxing condescending tone doesn't help the incompetent philosophy.
This book is about 5% interesting physics. The rest is wikipedia level introductory material and religious and political propaganda argued for without any understanding of the philosophical subjects involved.
This book would never pass peer review. Not that it has to.
Muller also rants about scientific metaphors using natural language terms, yet transgresses more on that front in this very volume than most.
May make an interesting read for fans of Chopra, otherwise avoid at all costs.
Terribly damaging to the intended audience, American High School students, this unclear mess is best forgotten about.
I suggest you wait for more papers on the actual theory being proposed - ephemerality as another horizon of expanding spacetime, the physics are truly interesting.
"Bewildering, mind blowing, ultimately enlightening"
I'm an artist and writer, very right-brained, sadly inept in mathematics and the sciences. Yet I have always been fascinated by Physics. Physics has remained a bewildering foreign language to me. Over the years, I thought if I listened to enough words spoken in the language Physics, I would suddenly understand it. Until this book, my hope has been unfulfilled. However, about half way through this book, my brain experienced an awakening to the notion of symmetry. I can't explain it, but from that moment forward, I understood, haltingly it is true, how and why Physics reveals and predicts the universe and life. I am going to listen to this book from the beginning again and again.
"Big let down at the end"
This book isn't about the physics of now, it's about free will and the soul.
"Interesting but surprising opinion"
Overall the book is interesting and well written. A few notes though: I think his religious beliefs might distort his way of thinking or at least, at some moment, I felt the author is making an effort to reconciliate faith and reason. I don't agree with him regarding his opinion on free will and the existence of a soul beyond physical body, beyond consciousness. Those have no base other than belief. If it can't be disproved it does not mean it exists. All in all it's worth reading.
"No. Sorry, Just No"
I like Richard Muller and love Physics for Future Presidents. He jumps out on a limb in the book but unfortunately fails to make his case.
The best I can say is that he is clever to a point with semantics but really doesn't open the doors to a great, or as he would say, a more correct interpretation of time. Because entropy is a fluid process that cannot define 'now' is no reason to toss entropy as a means of defining time as best we are able. Really, time is fluid and there is no now. Before you can say now, the time has past. There is not frozen moment of time.
The book is interesting but I would not say it's ground breaking.
Not bad as a discussion of what's known about the physics of time, but goes astray in dismissing all interpretations of quantum mechanics except the Copenhagen Interpretation. Also, the discussion of free will is superficial and the author's assertion that he just knows he has a soul exhibits apparent ignorance of neuroscience. It was very unclear how his idea that time is continuously being created is consistent with relativity.
"A book with good beginning that fizzles out in end"
This is one of those books which could have been exceptionally good but fails to make it. It started off well and I developed high hopes only to find that as the book progressed it became philosophical ramblings of the author instead of a science book for lay people.
For example, in the latter part of the book the author starts discussing about soul and makes a point that he feels that he certainly has a soul though he is not sure about other animals. I have just one question for the author - if we have something like soul which other animals don't have , at what point during evolution did we develop it? Every cell in our body is a living thing , so does it mean that your soul is divided among trillions of cells?
Despite its flaws the book does shine in bits and pieces. Some topics have been explained well.
"The Physics of Time – Intelligent, Intuitive and a Great Read"
1st… I rarely write reviews, and when I do, it's when I find its a book that has an author that has a very high IQ and is without a massive ego to go along with it. I was very pleased with the scientific content of Richard's book as well as how the story is laid out. For those of you, that enjoy Marcelo Gleiser's books; you'll most likely find The Physics of Time an enjoyable read. I would place this book in the top 3% of the hundreds of science-based audiobooks I've listened to in the last ten years.
While no physicist can fully tell their "story of time" without using advanced calculus, Richard Muller does an excellent job of simplifying the physics without " talking down" to the reader. He also provides his career experience regarding who he has worked with (such as Saul Perlmutter Nobel Prize winner 2011) which helps to make the story more interesting and personal. While the author is fully aware of the "strangeness of quantum mechanics" he eloquently tells the story of time without "falling into the rabbit hole" of absurdity. The author also does an excellent job in carefully helping the reader to understand what an incredible gift science is, but he also helps the reader to understand that science has its limits.I must say this is a refreshing perspective from the many other scientific authors that speak about the scientific method with "evangelical zeal."
Christopher Grove did a great job narrating this book. A great voice and does a very good job in pronouncing some of the technical terms correctly
Yes… Very engaging and very well narrated
"Worth the listen"
I learned a lot and gained some perspective. I have read many physics books but this one has some better first principals explanations.
Also, nice job calling out physics on its shortcomings.
I could do without the free will and soul stuff.
"Not worth the time"
This is a feeble attempt to use physics to conclude "a soul" exists.
The author puts down statements which cannot be tested throughout the first 20 something chapters ... then concludes with a statement which cannot be tested.
The book was well read and the book does address some of the interesting aspects of quantum physics and time ... but the author goes off the rails at the end.
There are plenty of other books on quantum physics and time ... I would NOT recommend this one.
"I need to invent a time machine"
I really can't imagine how any one could recommend this book. There was not one topic in this book where I had not read about elsewhere. An author should always add something new to the topic if they are going to write a book on a topic. Especially, if the topic is as interesting as 'now'. The author knows infinitely more physics than I'll ever know, but he doesn't show it anywhere in this book. I would bet there wasn't a single matter of fact within his book on physics which I had not read elsewhere.
Also, when he strayed from his expertise he really ends up talking about things he barely understands. He doesn't know philosophy but tries to weave it into the story. (Hegel says in his introduction to the "Phenomenology' that 'any shoe salesman thinks they know philosophy', of course, that could also include writers of book reviews or physicist who write books with nothing new. Speaking of Hegel, how can someone be talking about the philosophy of 'now' and not give Hegel's definition as the "indeterminate immediate'?). Einstein's block universe takes time out of the universe, Henri Bergson doesn't like simultaneity. Bergson has a point. Einstein would even claim that his 'original sin' was tying a physical clock to the speed of light. For a wonderful book, but, regretfully, philosophical, see the audible book of "The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate That Changed Our Understanding of Time" by Canales. I only mention this, because the author never mentions Bergson in his book, and I can't imagine anyone writing a philosophical physics type book on 'now' not mentioning Bergson.
He did another thing that always irritates me. He quoted from many philosophers such as Kant, and it was clear he had not read the author's book that he was mentioning, "Critique of Pure Reason" (or at least not had read him in recent years). I like Kant. I've read him recently. There just seemed to be a shallowness with the author when he brought philosophy into the story.
The author doesn't like 'physicalism'. He'll capitalize it to make it a religion. He'll say atheist that believe in Physicalism have made it a a religion. It just seemed like a comic book straw man characterization he was developing. He brings up Hume (probably my favorite philosopher). Hume knows that we never see the cause just the effect. Hume is probably best characterized as a materialist instead of a physicalist but there are similarities, but Hume knows that, for example, the gravity that holds a vase on the table is never seen. Hume would say that the gravity is not real, but we conjecture it. The author never got beyond the surface when he talked about complex philosophical problems that are mentioned in this book such as cause and effect, free will, the soul, determinism and the flow of time itself. The author brought up Karl Popper and his falsification criterion. For one thing, when one does that they should always add the words 'in principle' after the word 'falsification'. Another thing, science has multiple values for a reason, because there are always ad hoc hypothesis which one can add to make ones theory seem correct. I really felt that the author needed to read a good book on the topic such as "Philosophy of Science" by Curd.
There are better books on audible on this topic. The author showed a lack of depth on philosophy. I did not learn anything new from reading this book and an author should always assume their reader is interested in the topic and tell them things they didn't already know. I wish I had built a time machine and was able to read this review and then save myself from having read this book which is nothing more than a rehash of stuff told in other books.
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