A brief history of time


by Stephen Hawking

Is such an interesting read. But after I finished reading it, I am no wiser on what space is, whether time had a beginning and when. But at least I know there is psychological time, thermodynamic time and cosmological time.

Time travel maybe possible but there are paradoxes. If you travel back in time and kill your great great grandfather as a young man, will you born in the future? Unless you travel back in time but with an alternate history, but then where is the fun in this?

Are there singularities like the BBT or not? Does the universe have an edge?

Is determinism true or does the uncertainty principle rule it out completely?

Did god create the universe or rather the initial conditions and left the rest to take its course?

Is faster than light travel possible?

And finally, who was Einstein?

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

36 thoughts on “A brief history of time

  1. jim- says:

    Good questions. Yes, it’s all possible. Considering entanglement and the speed of thought, time travel would be possible but only traveling to a different timeline than our reckoning.
    As the universe is older than time, but time does not exist as we know it without it. In other words, more conversation on this topic we have equals less understanding. Circuitism is not our friend.

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  2. john zande says:

    We need some add-ons and upgrades to our brains to get around this.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. maryplumbago says:

    I have not read this, but it looks good. Plus he does a Ted talk about time. It’s a fascinating subject.
    http://scriptphd.com/interview/2010/05/12/from-eternity-to-here-with-physicist-sean-carroll/

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  4. judyt54 says:

    Robert Heinlein had a wonderful novel called “Door Into Summer” which dealt with the “I am my own grandpaw” conundrum, and I’ve thought about time (which is a Construct, anyway) and it would seem that if you could kill your own ancestor, you couldn’t, because you’d already have never existed in the first place. An entire chunk of backstory would never have happened. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Einstein was the guy who created Einstein’s Bagels, a really good bagel shop here in Chicago. Geez, Mak, do I hafta explain EVERYTHING to you?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Have you read Einstein’s books “The world as I see it” and Out of my later years? I very much enjoyed them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. On what space is, the other day I read something (or maybe heard it) that physics is not about what things are, but how they relate and interact with each other. Of course, this can get into what the meaning of “is” is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nan says:

    chicagoja has been writing several posts lately expressing his take on the universe/time/etc. I sometimes wonder if he’s trying to compete with Hawking’s viewpoints. If so, he’s going to lose.

    BTW, I did read this many years ago. I should consider a re-read but like you, the pile of to-be-read books would probably topple and scatter.

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  9. Such questions are immensely fascinating. Why? Because we mostly don’t know the answers and our curiosity compels us. Ignorance is irritating, isn’t it? But, we do know some things.

    Time travel into the future isn’t just possible, it is something many of us have already done without realizing it. Every time you fly on a commercial airliner you’re traveling into the future – albeit by a minuscule amount. According to Einstein’s special relativity (a proven theory), the rate of time slows down for things the faster they go. So, from the perspective of a airline passenger or astronaut, people on the ground appear to be aging faster than they are. If one could travel close to the speed of light, this effect would be greatly magnified. Want proof? Our communications satellites and GPS systems could not function without special relativity.

    Can we travel into the past? Theoretically, yes. But, it would require transport through structures such as “wormholes” which are still hypothetical. But, what if we solved that technical problem? How could we avoid the “Grandfather Paradox” (i.e. preventing one’s own birth by killing their grandfather in the past)? One hypothetical solution is that the act of killing one’s grandfather, or even the traveling into the past, would create a parallel universe which coexists with the one you left. This idea opens up all sorts of possibilities for the determinism versus free will debate.

    According to Einstein’s general relativity, time and space are the same thing which we humans perceive differently. This theory has withstood a century of scrutiny, and it still is the foundational bedrock for our scientific understanding of gravitational physics at the macro level. Quantum mechanics is trying to unlock the secrets of the micro world which – at least superficially – appear to be contradictory.

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    • Cool stuff. This is what makes a book like Hawking’s so good. It raises questions and stimulates rational thought. Religion, on the other hand, proposes the answers to all questions first, “God”, and then goes about bending and twisting all over the fucking place to “prove” “God” is, indeed, the right and only answer to….whatever you need to know. I’ve got a documentary series with Hawking called “Into The Universe” where he discusses all sorts of cool shit: aliens, time travel, etc. You can probably find it on YouTube, I’d imagine. Benedict Cumberbatch and Hawking, with his computer voice, narrate the series. Smart, fun stuff, like “A Brief History of Time.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      So our travel into the past will belong to the alternate histories hypothesis, interesting, when you think of all the possibilities.

      What you say about these type of questions is really true. You want to ask more questions.

      Liked by 1 person

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