Timeless Reality : Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Uni... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Usually ships within 1 to 2 months.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Timeless Reality : Symmet... has been added to your Cart
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Page 83
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Used, very good. No ex-library items. Thank you for shopping with us!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Timeless Reality : Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes Hardcover – November 1, 2000

6 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$23.70 $8.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

The Boy Who Played with Fusion by Tom Clynes
The Boy Who Played with Fusion by Tom Clynes
Check out the newest book by Tom Clynes. Learn more | See all by author
$35.99 FREE Shipping. Usually ships within 1 to 2 months. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Timeless Reality : Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes + God and the Multiverse: Humanity's Expanding View of the Cosmos
Price for both: $53.42

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


"...wide-ranging, sophisticated...recommended..." -- Choice, May 2001

From the Inside Flap

Quantum physics has many extraordinary implications. One of the most extraordinary is that events at the atomic and subatomic level seem to depend on the future as well as the past. Is time really reversible?

Physicist Victor J. Stenger says yes. Contrary to our most basic assumptions about the inevitable flow of time from past to future, the underlying reality of all phenomena may have no beginning and no end, and not be governed by an "arrow of time." Though aware of the possibility, physicists have generally been reluctant to accept the reversibility of time as reality because of the implied causal paradoxes: If time travel to the past were possible, then you could go back and kill your grandfather before he met your grandmother! However, Stenger shows that this paradox does not apply for quantum phenomena.

Many people believe that the laws of nature represent a deep, Platonic reality that goes beyond the material objects that are observed by eye and by advanced scientific instruments. Stenger maintains that reality may be simpler and less mysterious than most think. The quantum world only appears mysterious when forced to obey rules of everyday human experience. Stenger convincingly argues that, based on established principles of simplicity and symmetry, at its deepest level reality is literally timeless. Within this reality it is possible that many universes exist, each with structures and laws different from our own.

Using language that is easily understood by the nonspecialist, Stenger elucidates these complex subjects with astounding clarity. The many vivid illustrations also help make the book come alive in a manner that is more accessible to the educated lay reader.


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Great Books in Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; First Edition edition (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573928593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573928595
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,267,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Victor J. Stenger grew up in a Catholic working-class neighborhood in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was a Lithuanian immigrant, his mother the daughter of Hungarian immigrants. He attended public schools and received a bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering from Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology) in 1956. While at NCE, he was editor of the student newspaper and received several journalism awards.

Moving to Los Angeles on a Hughes Aircraft Company fellowship, Dr. Stenger received a master's of science degree in physics from UCLA in 1959 and a PhD in physics in 1963. He then took a position on the faculty of the University of Hawaii, retiring to Colorado in 2000. He currently is emeritus professor of physics at the University of Hawaii and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado. Dr. Stenger is a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a research fellow of the Center for Inquiry. Dr. Stenger has also held visiting positions on the faculties of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, Oxford in England (twice), and has been a visiting researcher at Rutherford Laboratory in England, the National Nuclear Physics Laboratory in Frascati, Italy, and the University of Florence in Italy.

His research career spanned the period of great progress in elementary particle physics that ultimately led to the current standard model. He participated in experiments that helped establish the properties of strange particles, quarks, gluons, and neutrinos. He also helped pioneer the emerging fields of very high-energy gamma-ray and neutrino astronomy. In his last project before retiring, Dr. Stenger collaborated on the underground experiment in Japan that in 1998 showed for the first time that the neutrino has mass. The Japanese leader of this experiment shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for this work.

Victor Stenger has had a parallel career as an author of critically well-received popular-level books that interface between physics and cosmology and philosophy, religion, and pseudoscience. These include: Not by Design: The Origin of the Universe (1988); Physics and Psychics: The Search for a World beyond the Senses (1990); The Unconscious Quantum: Metaphysics in Modern Physics and Cosmology (1995); Timeless Reality: Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes (2000); Has Science Found God? The Latest Results in the Search for Purpose in the Universe (2003); The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come From? (2006); God: The Failed Hypothesis--How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist (2007); Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness (2009); The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason (2009); The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is Not Designed for Us (2011); God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion (2012). God: The Failed Hypothesis made the New York Times Best Seller List in March 2007.

Vic and his wife, Phylliss, have been happily married since 1962 and have two children and four grandchildren. They now live in Lafayette, Colorado. They travel the world as often as they can.

Dr. Stenger maintains a website where much of his writing can be found, at http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By "chrisindenver" on March 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I'd like to start with a caveat. I gave this book 5 stars, but that assumes the reader has a college education or a very technical background. For someone not used to college-level writing, I would recommend avoiding this book. Having said that, I thought this book was amazing. My head is still spinning from all the detailed, technical information about quantum physics and relativity. Without getting bogged down in the actual mathematics, this book tells you just about everything you might want to know about modern physics.

Some of the best and most original writing is actually at the end, where Stenger presents his ideas on symmetry and how it relates to cosmology and the history of the universe. However, everything else in the book leads up to this, and there are plenty of references to previous chapters.

Stenger's concluding paradigm is simple, logical, and aesthetic, and definitely meets his own criterion of parsimony, or Occam's razor. Parsimony is a common theme in this and Stenger's other books, and he does a great job of using it to critique and analyze the various theories and philosophical interpretations of modern physics.

Again, I would recommend this book to anyone comfortable with college-level reading, but I would also love to see Stenger's concluding ideas summarized in another, less technical and more accessible format, for a wider audience.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Regnal on January 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like certain Victor Stenger's books. Who possibly can be better in presenting such subjects of science? After all, author is a professor of psychology as well. As Bertrand Russell wrote in 1950: "philosophy aims at a theoretical understanding of the structure of the world: on the other hand, it tries to discover and inculcate the best possible way of life..it can give to the individual a just measure of himself in relation to the whole history of man and to the astronomical cosmos". "Timeless Reality" is absolutely a "meisterstuck" dedicated to reader who is not afraid of mathematical formulas and equations. Learn from professor Stenger about time symmetry solving mysteries of quantum double nature and that cause not always precedes effect. Find more: brief history of philosophy, every topic of modern particle physics related to cosmology - explained and repeated each time when needed. If you have not find easy and convincing explanation of EPR paradox so far, you will find it here, one of the most interesting! Large sections of "Timeless Reality" successfully navigate through this hazy subject! Yes, it is a popular science book at its best, loaded with names, properties and behaviors of many exotic particles. Estimated level of difficulty rests somewhere between Roger Penrose's "The Emperor's New Mind" (quantum theory content) and Alan Guth's "The Inflationary Universe" or Lee Smolin's "Three Roads to Quantum Gravity".
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
63 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Autodidact Andy on November 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I approve of the non-mathematical descriptions this book offers the intended audience. It elucidates some important quantitative principles in a comprehensible language (e.g. the Principle of Least Action; the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian; the 'Wave-Particle Duality' and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle; state vectors, phase, superposition, Gauge Invariance, Relativity symmetry, spin, and Lorentz transformations). I have enjoyed using this book as part of a bridge to step across the yawning gulf between popular (non-mathematical) and rigorously quantitative textbooks on Quantum theory (Quantum Electrodynamics & Quantum Field Theory). I especially liked Chapter 7 'Taming Infinity' where the Feynman-Wheeler Interaction Theory and Feynman's QED are beautifully presented for intellectual consumption. He seems especially aligned with Feynman's views of the particle nature of matter.
The author has carefully placed key words in bold type throughout the book that indicate their inclusion in a generous glossary of terms near the end of the book. I have grown to appreciate this as is a valuable feature in several books at this reading level. The chapters are broken into intellectually digestible size with a fair amount of diagrams to illustrate certain concepts visually.
Apparently a part of his agenda in this book, as well as in several of his other publications, is to try to correct (control) superstitious creationist (wrong) thinking concerning the origin of our Universe and equally incorrect mystical interpretations of reality. Vic flat out states that the Universe '...had no beginning and was not created.' For example, Dr. Stenger seems compelled to narrowly target the logic of theistic physicists such as Polkinghorne and Ross.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again