From Eternity to Here

From Eternity to Here
by Sean Carroll
2010 / 448 pages
Rating – 8

Whew!  This could have been a very difficult book –   the concepts are difficult but Connelly writes well,  it’s organized fairly well and so he does make it as easy as possible. Still,  although I read it – most of it very carefully – I’m not sure I “get it.”  (sigh)  Actually,  I feel like I got all the “dots” but couldn’t connect them.   So here I am,  I’ve learned or already known all this stuff about particle physics and entropy and our perception of time and thermodynamics and relativity and gravity and I’m not sure how it fits together to tell me why time has a direction and where time started.  (Unless it’s that time is a measure of entropy but that’s pretty lame considering the effort Connelly went to.)  (heh)

From the author’s web-site:

Why do we remember the past, but not the future? Why don’t we meet people who grow younger as they age? Why do things, left by themselves, tend to become messier and more chaotic? What would Maxwell’s Demon say to a Boltzmann Brain?

The answers can be traced to the moment of the Big Bang — or possibly before.

Time pervades our lives — we keep track of it, lament its loss, put it to good use. The rhythms of our clocks and our bodies let us measure the passage of time, as a ruler lets us measure the distance between two objects. But unlike distances, time has a direction, pointing from past to future. From Eternity to Here examines this arrow of time, which is deeply ingrained in the universe around us. The early universe — the hot, dense, Big Bang — was very different from the late universe — cool, empty, expanding space — and that difference in felt in all the workings of Nature, from the melting of ice cubes to the evolution of species.

Overall it was really quite an enjoyable read although I certainly didn’t understand it all.

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