The End of Certainty

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Aug 17, 1997 - Philosophy - 228 pages
Time, the fundamental dimension of our existence, has fascinated artists, philosophers, and scientists of every culture and every century. All of us can remember a moment as a child when time became a personal reality, when we realized what a "year" was, or asked ourselves when "now" happened. Common sense says time moves forward, never backward, from cradle to grave. Nevertheless, Einstein said that time is an illusion. Nature's laws, as he and Newton defined them, describe a timeless, deterministic universe within which we can make predictions with complete certainty. In effect, these great physicists contended that time is reversible and thus meaningless.
 

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User Review  - JorgeCarvajal - LibraryThing

Contrary to what the book description says, this text is not entirely suited for the general reader. A good half of the book is incomprehensible for a layman. Still, very big, world-changing ideas lie ... Read full review

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User Review  - Steve55 - LibraryThing

At the heart of this book is a challenge to the bedrock of our current scientific thinking. Newton's science, and indeed that of quantum physics contains no arrow of time. Whilst it may be true that ... Read full review

Contents

Only an Illusion?
57
From Probability to Irreversibility
73
The Laws of Chaos
89
Beyond Newtons Laws
107
A Unified Formulation of Quantum Theory
129
Our Dialogue with Nature
153
A Narrow Path
183
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Viscount Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, is the Director of the Ilya Prigogine Center of Statistical Mechanics, THermodynamics and Complex Systems in Austin, Texas, and the Director of the Solvay Institutes of Physics and Chemistry in Brussels. The recipient of honorary degrees from more than forty universities around the world, Prigogine has had five institutes devoted to the study of complex systems named for him. He lives in Brussels and Austin.

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