Hans Reichenbach

The Direction of Time

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Ever a source of philosophical conjecture and debate, the concept of time represents the beating heart of physics. This final work by the distinguished physicist Hans Reichenbach represents the culmination and integration of a lifetime's philosophical contributions and inquiries into the analysis of time. The result is an outstanding overview of such qualitative, or topological, attributes of time as order and direction.Beginning with a discussion of the emotive significance of time, Reichenbach turns to an examination of the time order of mechanics, the time direction of thermodynamics and microstatistics, the time direction of macrostatistics, and the time of quantum physics. He offers coherent explanations of the analytic methods of scientific philosophy in the investigation of probability, quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, and causality — methods that he not only applies here but also helped to develop and refine.Physics Today observed that «For a generation Professor Reichenbach has worked as almost no other man to bring to the interpretation of modern physics the critical and reflective thinking of a trained philosopher. Most physicists who retain an interest in philosophy, and many who wanted simply to understand physics, have read some of the earlier books of Reichenbach. This one is . . . the best by a good deal.» Introduction. Appendix. Index.
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768 printed pages
Original publication
2012

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