The Order of Time

I’ve heard about The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli through Misha’s newsletter. I really admire Misha’s work and in this inspiring interview for Skin at Heart, we got to know a bit more about the person behind the texts.

The Order of Time is a brilliant book on quantum physics explained in a simple and beautiful way. Professor Rovelli not only guides us through a complex theme that is quantum, as he quotes poetry that is somehow related with the concepts of the book. The main subject, as the title indicates, is time. How time behaves, what is time, how it affects us, how we perceive it, ultimately, how it affects reality.

Some of the most interesting points that Professor Rovelli brings up are:

  • The relativity of time towards a body mass: how time passes differently in the mountains or at sea level. Basically time passes faster in the mountains and slower at sea level, because the sea is closer to the Earth’s nucleo.

  • The relativity of time towards movement: how time passes faster for a clock that is placed in a specific spot in comparison to a clock that is being moved around.

  • How the world is made of events and not of things, made of something that occurs and not of objects or the shape a thing have at a specific time.

  • Why present is relative and it only exists on Earth.

  • Our perception of time and reality, past and future, and how these are not a straight line.

  • How language affects our perception of time, past and future and, consequently, our difficulty to approach its relativity.

  • What entropy actually means in terms of time/reality/energy and its importance.

It really is a very clarifying book with an interesting light on the subject. Professor Rovelli is not only an outstanding physicist, as he has the soul of a poet and he is able to connect with the reader from the first line.

For all these reasons, The Order of Time was one of the most brilliant books I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to understand more about who and what we are as human beings experiencing life on Earth in this form and why time is an undeniably huge part of it.

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