You know what the world really needs? A good book about time. Google tells me there are only about one and a half million such books right now, but I think you’ll agree that one more really good one is called for.
So I’m writing one. From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time is a popular-level book on time, entropy, and their connections to cosmology, to be published by Dutton. Hopefully before the end of this year! I’ve been plugging away at it, and have shifted almost into full-time book-writing mode now. (Note to collaborators: I promise not to abandon you entirely.)
I have my own idiosyncratic ideas about how to account for the arrow of time in cosmology, but those are going to be confined to passing mentions in the last chapter. Mostly I’ll be discussing basic ideas that most experts agree are true, or true ideas that everyone should agree on even if perhaps they don’t quite yet, or the implications of those ideas for knotty questions in cosmology. Hopefully we can at least shift the conventional wisdom a little bit.
Naturally there is a web page with some details. Here is the tentative table of contents, although I’ve been cutting and pasting pretty vigorously, so who knows how it will end up looking once all is said and done. One thing is for sure, some of these chapter titles need sprucing up.
Part One: Time, Experience, and the Universe
- The Heavy Hand of Entropy
- The Beginning and End of Time
- The Past is Present Memory
Part Two: Einstein’s Universe
- Time is Personal
- Time is Flexible
- Looping Through Time
Part Three: Distinguishing the Past from the Future
- Running Backwards
- Entropy and Disorder
- Information and Life
- Recurrent Nightmares
- Quantum Time
Part Four: Natural and Unnatural Spacetimes
- Black Holes
- The Life of the Universe
- The Past Through Tomorrow
- Epilogue: From the Universe to the Kitchen
If anyone out there is friends with Oprah, maybe drop her a line suggesting that this would make a good book-club choice. I hear that’s helpful when it comes to sales.
Update: And now you can buy it.