Category Archives: Time

Entropy and Complexity, Cause and Effect, Life and Time

Finally back from Scotland, where I gave a series of five talks for the Gifford Lectures in Glasgow. The final four, at least, were recorded, and should go up on the web at some point, but I’m not sure when. … Continue reading

Posted in Big Picture, Science, Time | 27 Comments

Entropic Time

A temporary break from book-related blogging to bring you this delightful video from A Capella Science, in which Tim Blais sings about entropy while apparently violating one of my favorite laws of physics. I don’t even want to think about … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Music, Time | 6 Comments

The Bayesian Second Law of Thermodynamics

Entropy increases. Closed systems become increasingly disordered over time. So says the Second Law of Thermodynamics, one of my favorite notions in all of physics. At least, entropy usually increases. If we define entropy by first defining “macrostates” — collections of … Continue reading

Posted in arxiv, Science, Time | 49 Comments

The Reality of Time

The idea that time isn’t “real” is an ancient one — if we’re allowed to refer to things as “ancient” under the supposition that time isn’t real. You will recall the humorous debate we had at our Setting Time Aright … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science, Time | 84 Comments

Discovering Tesseracts

I still haven’t seen Interstellar yet, but here’s a great interview with Kip Thorne about the movie-making process and what he thinks of the final product. (For a very different view, see Phil Plait [update: now partly recanted].) One of … Continue reading

Posted in Math, Time, Words | 35 Comments

Squelching Boltzmann Brains (And Maybe Eternal Inflation)

There’s no question that quantum fluctuations play a crucial role in modern cosmology, as the recent BICEP2 observations have reminded us. According to inflation, all of the structures we see in the universe, from galaxies up to superclusters and beyond, … Continue reading

Posted in arxiv, Science, Time | 67 Comments

Reality, Pushed From Behind

“Teleology” is a naughty word in certain circles — largely the circles that I often move in myself, namely physicists or other scientists who know what the word “teleology” means. To wit, it’s the concept of “being directed toward a … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science, Time, Words | 66 Comments

Is Time Real?

I mentioned some time back the Closer to Truth series, in which Robert Lawrence Kuhn chats with scientists, philosophers, and theologians about the Big Questions. Apparently some excerpts are now appearing on YouTube — here I am talking about whether … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Time | 63 Comments

The Higgs Boson vs. Boltzmann Brains

Kim Boddy and I have just written a new paper, with maybe my favorite title ever. Can the Higgs Boson Save Us From the Menace of the Boltzmann Brains? Kimberly K. Boddy, Sean M. Carroll (Submitted on 21 Aug 2013) … Continue reading

Posted in arxiv, Higgs, Science, Time | 76 Comments

Cosmology and the Past Hypothesis

Greetings from sunny Santa Cruz, where we’re in week three of the Summer School on Philosophy of Cosmology. I gave two lectures yesterday afternoon, and in a technological miracle they’ve already appeared on YouTube. The audio and video aren’t perfect … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Time | 41 Comments