RationalWiki's 2018 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff — we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone seeing this today donates $5, we will meet our goal for 2018.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $2951Goal: $5000

Timeless physics

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
The poetry of reality
Science
Icon science.svg
Extraordinary claims with
extraordinary evidence
Hot from the
giants' shoulders

Timeless physics is an attempt to construct a useful formulation of physics that does not rely on a "t" term as fundamental, but rather has what we perceive as "time" emerge from the model.

Its main proponent is Julian Barbour, in his 1999 book The End Of Time.[1] Barbour says that time is only an illusion, and that problems arise from assuming that it does exist: "Change merely creates an illusion of time, with each individual moment existing in its own right, complete and whole." He notes that Einstein, in one of his last letters, writes: "People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubborn, persistent illusion."

The notion is very fringe, but is regarded by serious physicists (including such diverse people as Lee Smolin and Luboš Motl[2][3]) as "interesting" rather than "crank." Timelessness would obviously be more elegant, so the idea appeals to physicists. There just isn't much of practical use for it as yet.

LessWrong also endorses the idea and develops a few of its odder local ideas from it.[4]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Julian Barbour. The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195145925. First chapter.
  2. Timeless physics (Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, 08 April 2006)
  3. Timeless physics 2009 (Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, 20 June 2009)
  4. Timeless Physics (Eliezer Yudkowsky, LessWrong, 27 May 2008)