A Question of Time: The Ultimate Paradox

| June 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

“A Question of Time: The Ultimate Paradox” is a compilation of Scientific American articles focusing on a single subject — time. In particular, it’s a collection of articles, discussing, the nature of time from a number of different points of view. This includes a number of articles about the philosophy of time, the human perception of time, measuring time, the physics of time and other topics.

Authors: Scientific American editors

Paperback: 190 pages

Publisher: Scientific American (2012)

ASIN: B00AF692ZS

Text-to-speech: enabled

Reviews: customer reviews

Rating: ★★★★½ Ranking: 8,079 US Version UK Version

Those, who happen to be readers of Scientific American, will find the style of the articles familiar — each section tackles the nature of time in a rather non-technical, but still informative style.

“Time has become to the 21st century what fossil fuels and precious metals were to previous epochs,” writes Gary Stix, commenting on a new perception of time in our modern society. This kicks off the first section of the eBook, which analyzes the place that time has taken in our society throughout the history. This inevitably leads to a discussion of the role of time in modern economy — time has become so important that some economists are even able to calculate the price of time spent while brushing one’s teeth.

As the book progresses, sections become a bit more technical — the human side of the understanding of time is analyzed, followed by physics of time. One of the most fascinating sections presents a rather unlikely collaboration — physicists with philosophers,– which aims to deepen our understanding of time and its role in physics. This nicely illustrates one of the main problems of time — in many ways it is too intangible to analyze and understand.

The eBook is concluded with a rather speculative section on the physics of time travel; beginning and the possible end of time. Surprisingly, such considerations, as Paul Davies writes in his article, have a practical aspect — a better understanding of cause and effect would be another step towards the unified theory of everything.

Overall, the book is really fun to read, especially after a while of not reading Scientific American. The style is not too technical, however, the articles are informative enough to teach a thing or two to readers, who are already familiar with the topic at hand.  On the down side, the book lacks illustrations, which Scientific American is famous for. In addition, as you might expect, when reading that many articles on the same topics, some repetition is inevitable. Still, after summing the pros and cons and taking into account the cheap prize of the kindle edition, I do recommend this eBook to anyone looking for some laid back reading on the topic of time.

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Category: General Science Books

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