I share the cover story on New Scientist this week. The issue is a special devoted to the nature of time and I wrote the introductory article: What is Time? Here’s a preview:
“WHAT is time? It is a question that has occupied some of the greatest minds, from the ancient philosophers to the scientists of the Enlightenment and beyond.
Yet after thousands of years of contemplation and scientific progress, there remains no consensus about its nature. "We can recognise time but we do not understand it," says philosopher Julian Barbour. "It is remarkable that there's so little agreement on what time is or even how to investigate a solution."
This may be because a deep understanding of time has proved almost superfluous to our progress. In physics, for example, Newton's laws of motion, Einstein's general relativity and quantum theory do not require us to know the nature of time in order to make them work. Even clock-makers do not need to understand time.
Clocks, however, do give us a clue about where to concentrate our efforts because a clock needs some kind of moving part to gauge the passing of time. ... “
You can read this article here.
You can read the rest of the articles here.