- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Adult; 1st edition (January 7, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0525951334
- ISBN-13: 978-0525951339
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 156 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time Hardcover – January 7, 2010
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Starred Review. No one is better equipped to take readers on a rollercoaster ride through time, space, and the origins of the universe than Caltech theoretical physicist Carroll, cofounder of Cosmic Variance, one of the top science blog sites. We're not thinking small here, Carroll announces with glee before launching into his topic. Time is a medium we move through and a way to sequence events. But the Arrow of Time' is also the only feature of the universe with one irreversible direction: time goes forward. This fact plays an important role in the second law of thermodynamics: the entropy (disorderliness) of an isolated system either remains constant or increases with time. This has implications for our understanding of the Big Bang origins of the universe. We may not be able to travel back in time, but we can find ways to peer back across it and see clues to how the universe evolved, thanks to such discoveries as quantum mechanics and relativity theory. Carroll writes with verve and infectious enthusiasm, reminding readers that science is a journey in which getting there is, without question, much of the fun. Illus. (Jan.)
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"Carroll...takes his readers on a fascinating and refreshing trek through every known back alley and cul de sac of quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology and theoretical physics. The best way to grasp the rich mysteries of our universe is by constantly rereading the best and clearest explanations. Mr. Carroll's From Eternity to Here is certainly one of them."
-Wall Street Journal
"For anyone who ever wondered about the nature of time and how it influences our universe, this book is a must read. It is beautifully written, lucid, and deep."
-Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech, author of Black Holes and Time Warps
"Sean Carroll's From Eternity to Here provides a wonderfully accessible account of some of the most profound mysteries of modern physics. While you may not agree with all his conclusions, you will find the discussion fascinating, and taken to much deeper levels than is normal in a work of popular science."
-Sir Roger Penrose, University of Oxford, author of The Road to Reality and The EMperor's New Mind
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Content-wise, he does a phenomenal job of summarizing and relating the history of theories of time and their real-world application. It gets dense towards the end, and very mathematical. As someone who is not very mathematically minded, it was tough and I had to reread some chapters. Carroll's passion, candor, and eccentric prose kept me through it. He really holds your hand though the more difficult concepts and the book culminates with some truly fascinating modern theories on time, the universe, and (seemingly) everything in between. This really helped me with writing my novel on time, and I'm very thankful to Carroll for laying out the science for me to make my book that much more believable.
My only note of criticism is to take it reeeaallly slow with some of the more advanced subjects. Students of physics will likely be fine, but there's some dense reading in store for science enthusiasts without degrees. I had a friend and colleague purchase the audiobook. He liked the reader, but it's a science book being read out loud. His suggestion was to have your finger close to the Rewind button ;)
A note to Sean: Keep up the excellent work. If you're reading this, I would happily purchase other books for you and support your academic endeavors. Great stuff and thank you for all your effort.
I think, at some point, there are things you still will not understand because in some areas Sean Carroll and the world are not yet fully confident in the results.
The book covers a lot of topics in detail (yet not through math but through more common man terms) and while some start to get away from you, Seans writing is humorous enough to keep you sticking around and getting through it.