Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time
Author: Sean Carroll
Format: Audio CD
Publisher: The Teaching Company
Release Date: January 01, 2012
Time rules our lives. From the rising and setting of the sun to the cycles of nature, the thought processes in our brains, and the biorhythms in our day, nothing so pervades our existence and yet is so difficult to explain. Time seems to be woven into the very fabric of the universe. But why? Consider these contrasting views of time: A movie of a person diving into a pool has an obvious arrow of time. When the movie is played backward, everyone recognizes that it shows an event that would never occur in the real world. But zoom in on any part of this scene at the atomic scale and the movie can be run backward or forward and be indistinguishable. Either way, the particle interactions are consistent with the laws of physics. Why does one movie have an arrow of time moving in only one direction and the other does not? Surprisingly, the search for an answer leads through some of the most pioneering fields of physics, including thermodynamics, relativity, quantum theory, and cosmology. The key concept is called "entropy," which is related to the second law of thermodynamics, considered by many scientists to be the most secure law in all of physics. But that's only the beginning, since the quest for the ultimate theory of time draws on such exciting ideas as black holes, cosmic inflation, and dark energy, before closing in on a momentous question that until recently was considered unanswerable: What happened before the big bang? In 24 riveting half-hour lectures, Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time takes you on a mind-expanding journey through the past, present, and future, guided by Professor Sean Carroll, noted author and Senior Research Associate in Physics at the California Institute of Technology.