Journals Higher Education



04 December 1997

320 Pages | 10 line illus.

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195117981

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Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point

New Directions for the Physics of Time

Huw Price

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 these great mysteries of modern physics, and connects them in a wholly original way.
Price begins with the mystery of the arrow of time. Price shows that, for over a century, most physicists have thought about problems of time in 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.
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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