Item description for The Physical Basis of the Direction of Time by H. D. Zeh...
For this third edition H. D. Zeh has thoroughly revised his book to include important new results. At the same time it retains the features that make it a classic text on irreversibility, and one which clearly distinguishes the latter from time asymmetry. New findings are presented particularly in the chapters on the arrow of time in quantum mechanics and quantum cosmology. Concepts such as decoherence and timelessness are discussed. The book has gained a reputation for its thorough survey of what is known about irreversibility in physics. It investigates physical phenomena in classical, quantum and cosmological settings. Both physicists and philosophers of science who reviewed earlier editions considered this book a magnificent survey, a concise, technically sophisticated, up-to-date discussion of the subject, showing fine sensitivity to some of the crucial philosophical subtleties.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Physical Basis of the Direction of Time?
Requires advanced math degree Dec 25, 2007
Being a professional engineer, although retired, I have lots of time to pursue my interest in astrophysics and associated topics. Time, to me, is an extremely interesting topic -- one which we think we all know, but probably know very little about.
Anyway, I had hoped this book would provide a greater understanding of time, and I'm sure it does .. but not for me. All of the material in this book relies HEAVILY on advanced mathematics for understanding -- calculus, differential equations, etc. Unless you are extremely versed and current in advanced math, you will not be able to realize the potential of this book.
I couldn't actually rate the book, as I'm no longer instantly conversant with the advanced math in the book. If one were, then I feel quite sure that this book could be four or five stars. But for a layman, or even one with a history of advanced math which hasn't been used recently, it is virtually not understandable. Too bad.
Buy the FIFTH EDITION due out June 2007! May 14, 2007
Make no mistake, this is a great book!
It thoroughly discusses the six arrows of time and their law like vs. fact like nature. It discusses pretty much every other serious work that's been done respecting time and its physical descriptions (including those of Hu Price and Julian Barbour as well as the more conventional accounts by Stephen Hawking).
And also, it has some fascinating speculations on how the universal expansion itself might be the master arrow of time.
However, it IS an expensive book and since Zeh will be having his Fifth Edition out in June 2007, you might want to wait until it's out to purchase his thoughts on this significant and important area of research.
That said, whether you choose to purchase the June 2007 version or this one, you won't be disappointed.
THE place to look for the physics behind the arrow of time Dec 10, 1999
A lot has been written about the arrow of time, a large amount of which leaves out the details (such as Huw Price's recent book). For those details, this is THE place to look. Those discussing the arrow of time, whether they agree or disagree with his conclusions, generally start with what has been written down here.
In this slim volume, Zeh gives a wonderfully concise and broad coverage to all physical aspects of the arrow of time. Furthermore, while his approach is rigorous, he makes a point of drawing out what the mathematical conclusions mean, and he does so quite lucidly. As a bonus he has a wonderful section on the quanticization of time. The only problem with this book is the rather high price tag, which will probably stop most of the casual readers interested in the topic from picking up a copy.