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From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time Paperback – 26 Oct 2010
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"Unifying cosmology, thermodynamics, and information science into a refreshingly accessible whole, From Eternity to Here will make you wish time's arrow could fly in reverse, if only so you could once again read the book for the first time."
"Carroll...takes his readers on a fascinating and refreshing trek through every known back alley and cul de sac of quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology and theoretical physics. The best way to grasp the rich mysteries of our universe is by constantly rereading the best and clearest explanations. Mr. Carroll's From Eternity to Here is certainly one of them."
-Wall Street Journal
"For anyone who ever wondered about the nature of time and how it influences our universe, this book is a must read. It is beautifully written, lucid, and deep."
-Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech, author of Black Holes and Time Warps
"Sean Carroll's From Eternity to Here provides a wonderfully accessible account of some of the most profound mysteries of modern physics. While you may not agree with all his conclusions, you will find the discussion fascinating, and taken to much deeper levels than is normal in a work of popular science."
-Sir Roger Penrose, University of Oxford, author of The Road to Reality and The EMperor's New Mind
About the Author
SEAN CARROLL is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He received his PhD in 1993 from Harvard University. Recently, Carroll has worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics, the arrow of time, and the emergence of complexity. He has been awarded prizes and fellowships by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Sloan Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society of London. His most recent award, in 2014, was from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Carroll has appeared on The Colbert Report (twice), PBS’sNOVA, and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and he frequently serves as a science consultant for film and television. He has been interviewed by various NPR shows, Scientific American, Wired, and The New York Times. He has given a TED talk on the multiverse that has more than one million views, and he has participated in a number of well-attended public debates concerning material in his new book, including one in New York City in 2014 with Eben Alexander.See all Product description
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Content-wise, he does a phenomenal job of summarizing and relating the history of theories of time and their real-world application. It gets dense towards the end, and very mathematical. As someone who is not very mathematically minded, it was tough and I had to reread some chapters. Carroll's passion, candor, and eccentric prose kept me through it. He really holds your hand though the more difficult concepts and the book culminates with some truly fascinating modern theories on time, the universe, and (seemingly) everything in between. This really helped me with writing my novel on time, and I'm very thankful to Carroll for laying out the science for me to make my book that much more believable.
My only note of criticism is to take it reeeaallly slow with some of the more advanced subjects. Students of physics will likely be fine, but there's some dense reading in store for science enthusiasts without degrees. I had a friend and colleague purchase the audiobook. He liked the reader, but it's a science book being read out loud. His suggestion was to have your finger close to the Rewind button ;)
A note to Sean: Keep up the excellent work. If you're reading this, I would happily purchase other books for you and support your academic endeavors. Great stuff and thank you for all your effort.
In this approaching, one of the very first shocking ideas of the book is that that the author proposes us in page 13: "Thinking of the entire history of the universe all at once... is the first step toward thinking of time as 'kind of like space.'" In doing that, Carroll take us out of the comfort zone of thinking about time like something separated from space, with time being the water of the river and space the river basin. From here the idea begins to emerge just in front of us.
So what is the base of this proposition that put time in the middle ground between what we believed it was and what we are seeing right now? The base is entropy, that that in the book is presented under the tittle "Nature's most reliable law." This is just page 33 and you have to read 350 more. My advice: just do it, keep reading the book up to the very end.
My experience was fruitful and so will be yours if (an this is a big if) you really want to know the answer to the prologue's question. The structure is based on four parts, which to me are 1) the time as we experienced it, 2) the Einstein's universe, 3) the entropy and the time arrow (the knot of the book), and 4) what happen with (or what means) this whole arrange of stuff (timespace and Co.).
As I said at the beginning of my note: time is like the wind but in this book it is much more than a metaphor, is an experience of physics translated by a physicist in order to be understood by a lay person or to be grasped at least as an arrow that flies in just one direction but full of semantics and meanings.
I'm not a expert and that's why I do not dare to contrast this position with that promote by other physicists and mathematicians I have read, so what I'm going to do is to tell you that after dozens of books in my back (time, space and so on and on) this is one of the best. As long as you read it you understand it. What happen next is another story. Carroll writes like a writer, a very good one. He is inspired and he strives hard to be understood. Don't miss this piece of science which is hard (it's not an easy piece, really) but you cannot let it pass like an arrow that flies through the air, far from you.