The Arrows of Time

A Debate in Cosmology

  • Laura Mersini-Houghton
  • Rudy Vaas

Part of the Fundamental Theories of Physics book series (FTPH, volume 172)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-v
  2. Laura Mersini-Houghton, Rüdiger Vaas
    Pages 1-3
  3. Rodolfo Gambini, Rafael A. Porto, Jorge Pullin
    Pages 43-52
  4. Andreas Albrecht, Alberto Iglesias
    Pages 53-68
  5. Katherine Freese, Matthew G. Brown, William H. Kinney
    Pages 149-156
  6. Laura Mersini-Houghton
    Pages 157-168
  7. Martin Bojowald
    Pages 169-189
  8. H. Dieter Zeh
    Pages 205-217
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 219-221

About this book


The concept of time has fascinated humanity throughout history, and remains one of the biggest mysteries in science and philosophy. Yet a deeper understanding of nature at a fundamental level can only be achieved through a comprehension of this strange fourth dimension. Furthermore, the origin of the universe is closely intertwined with the puzzle of time: Did time emerge at the big bang? Why does the direction of time ‘conspire’ with the remarkably ordered initial state of the universe?


This book addresses many of the most important questions about time: What is time, and is it fundamental or emergent? Why is there such an arrow of time, closely related to the initial state of the universe, and why do the cosmic, thermodynamic and other arrows agree? These issues are discussed here by leading experts, and each offers a new perspective on the debate. Their contributions delve into the most difficult research topic in physics, also describing the latest cutting edge research on the subject. The book also offers readers a comparison between the different outlooks of philosophy, physics and cosmology on the puzzle of time.

This volume is intended to be useful for research purposes, but most chapters are also accessible to a more general audience of scientifically educated readers looking for deeper insights.



Emergent Time Quantum Gravity String Theory Landscape Time and Irreversibility Time in Cosmology Time' Arrow

Editors and affiliations

  • Laura Mersini-Houghton
    • 1
  • Rudy Vaas
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. Physics & AstronomyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Bietigheim-BissingenGermany

Bibliographic information