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A Durable Discourse on Time

The Nature of Time: Raymond Flood and Michael Lockwood, eds. Basil Blackwell, New York, 1987. 187 pp. $19.95. In 1985 the Oxford University Department for External Studies sponsored a series of popular lectures on the nature of time by five physicists and three philosophers. The eight essays that make up this exceptionally well-edited book are based on these lectures. Although they span a wide range of topics and points of view, none presupposes a strong background in either physics or philosoph

David Layzer
The Nature of Time: Raymond Flood and Michael Lockwood, eds. Basil Blackwell, New York, 1987. 187 pp. $19.95.


In 1985 the Oxford University Department for External Studies sponsored a series of popular lectures on the nature of time by five physicists and three philosophers. The eight essays that make up this exceptionally well-edited book are based on these lectures. Although they span a wide range of topics and points of view, none presupposes a strong background in either physics or philosophy.

Dennis Sciama's essay is a lucid account of time in Einstein's two great theories of space and time, special and general relativity. Michael Shallis writes about tachyons, hypothetical particles that travel faster than light and slow down as they acquire energy. Peter Atkins, explaining entropy and the law of entropy growth, argues that "the deep structure of change is decay." Paul Davies discusses issues raised by Niels Bohr...

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