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In this intellectually challenging book, Nobel laureate Ilya Prigogine tackles some of the difficult questions that bedevil physicists trying to provide an explanation for the world we observe. How is it, for instance, that basic principles of quantum mechanics--which lack any differentiation between forward and backward directions in time--can explain a world with an "arrow of time" headed unambiguously forward? And how do we escape classical physics' assertion that the world is deterministic? In a sometimes mathematical and frequently mind-bending book, Prigogine explores deterministic chaos, nonequilibrium thermodynamics, and even cosmology and the origin of the universe in an attempt to reach an explanation that can reconcile physical laws with subjective reality.
Since adolescence, Nobel laureate Prigogine has been haunted by the thorny problem of time, which has so preoccupied him that he scrawled "Time precedes existence" on a scientific memorial in Moscow. One of the founders of chaos theory, Prigogine has for decades propounded a view contrary to the assumption of temporal reversibility that is commonly accepted by theoretical physicists (ordinary folk have always been baffled by the idea that minus-t and plus-t [terms representing, respectively, time going backward and going forward] can somehow ever be the same). Although accepting relativity and the time-space continuum, Prigogine proposes a radical synthesis of Newtonian and quantum physics that is intriguing enough to reward the tough going that the book's intense concentration of formulas (on which Prigogine's arguments center) will be for most general readers. Prigogine claims that it is time's arrow that finally makes clear how probabilities become actualities and how "becoming" becomes "being." A groundbreaking work by a major figure in today's scientific revolution. Patricia MonaghanSee all Product Description
One of the most world-view upsetting works of recent history. Prigogine is a lucid writer on a difficult topic. I recommend his book on chaos theory as well.Published 9 months ago by R. Beckett
I did buy this book some time ago and then I was fascinated. I studied the basis of his theory, but unfortunately, Prigogine passed away recently, before I can discuss with he some... Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2003 by Juan R. Gonzalez-Alvarez
Much controversy from what i can see from other reviewers...
Nevertheless, whether or not you think an "arrow of time" exists or not, this book at least has the... Read more
Prigogine mixes history, philosophy, classical , quantum and statistical mechanics to review the status of philosophy of science and the lack of methods to handle non integrable... Read morePublished on Dec 26 2000 by Richard Axor
As an earlier reviewer said this book provides a solution to three of the most important problems in science: 1. time's arrow 2. the measurement problem in QM 3. Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2000 by Cool R1a
Over the years (and it's been something close to 60 of them) Prigogine has almost single-handedly defined non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Read morePublished on Oct. 10 2000 by Zentao
The writers do not challenge the validity of quantum mechanics. They point out, that microscopic reversability is compatible with the existence of an arrow of time in the observed... Read morePublished on Dec 10 1999
In a direct extension of his Nobel-prize-winning work on thermodynamics,Prigogine explains that almost all natural systems are non-determinsitic, even if all their components are... Read morePublished on Jan. 1 1999
Oh well, I loved this book and think Prigogine's work is of fundamental importance. The math's not bad if you're from an engineering or science background, otherwise skip the math... Read morePublished on Dec 31 1998 by Gary R. Bradski