What is Time? Physicist Carlo Rovelli Ponders the Enigmatic Fourth Dimension


Dan Falk:

It is something very complex. We mistakenly think that time is something basic, something very elementary. We imagine it ticking away the life of the cosmos, in a succession of instants. This understanding of time is wrong. Or at least, it’s an approximation of a far more complex reality.
This doesn’t mean that the layperson’s understanding of time is an illusion. It only means that it holds up in a limited way. It’s like thinking that the Earth is flat. As long as we move in a small region [on the Earth’s surface], we can very well consider it to be flat. When we build a house, for example, we don’t need to bother with the curvature of the surface of the Earth. But if we look at a larger scale, then definitely the Earth is not flat.
It’s the same with time. Our everyday intuition of it works very well, but only as long as we don’t look too far out into space or too deeply into small distances, and only if we don’t consider things moving at high speeds.

I've started reading Rovelli's latest book, The Order of Time, and it's great. But even better may be the audio version narrated by Doctor Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch...


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