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Timeless Reality : Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes

Victor J. Stenger

In his exciting new book, physicist Victor J. Stenger shows how time symmetry at the quantum level makes it possible to draw a model of underlying reality that is simpler and more symmetric than the conventional view. This reality is timeless, with no beginning, no end, and no arrow of time. Time is indeed reversible. And in this "timeless reality," nothing rules out the existence of other universes besides our own; in fact, such a multiverse is strongly suggested by modern theories of cosmology. But whether or not reality has one universe or many, it had no beginning and was not created. It neither was nor will be. It just is.

From the Inside Flap:

Quantum physics has many extraordinary implications. One of the most extraordinary is that events at the atomic and subatomic level seem to depend on the future as well as the past. Is time really reversible?

Physicist Victor J. Stenger says yes. Contrary to our most basic assumptions about the inevitable flow of time from past to future, the underlying reality of all phenomena may have no beginning and no end, and not be governed by an "arrow of time." Though aware of the possibility, physicists have generally been reluctant to accept the reversibility of time as reality because of the implied causal paradoxes: If time travel to the past were possible, then you could go back and kill your grandfather before he met your grandmother! However, Stenger shows that this paradox does not apply for quantum phenomena.

Many people believe that the laws of nature represent a deep, Platonic reality that goes beyond the material objects that are observed by eye and by advanced scientific instruments. Stenger maintains that reality may be simpler and less mysterious than most think. The quantum world only appears mysterious when forced to obey rules of everyday human experience. Stenger convincingly argues that, based on established principles of simplicity and symmetry, at its deepest level reality is literally timeless. Within this reality it is possible that many universes exist, each with structures and laws different from our own.

Using language that is easily understood by the nonspecialist, Stenger elucidates these complex subjects with astounding clarity. The many vivid illustrations also help make the book come alive in a manner that is more accessible to the educated lay reader.

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