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Publisher's Summary

You are reading the word now right now. But what does that mean? What makes the ephemeral moment now so special? Its enigmatic character has bedeviled philosophers, priests, and modern-day physicists from Augustine to Einstein and beyond. Einstein showed that the flow of time is affected by both velocity and gravity, yet he despaired at his failure to explain the meaning of now. Equally puzzling: Why does time flow? Some physicists have given up trying to understand and call the flow of time an illusion, but eminent experimentalist physicist Richard A. Muller protests. He says physics should explain reality, not deny it. 

In Now, Muller does more than poke holes in past ideas; he crafts his own revolutionary theory, one that makes testable predictions. He begins by laying out - with the refreshing clarity that made Physics for Future Presidents so successful - a firm and remarkably clear explanation of the physics building blocks of his theory: relativity, entropy, entanglement, antimatter, and the big bang. With the stage thus set, he reveals a startling way forward. 

Muller points out that the standard big bang theory explains the ongoing expansion of the universe as the continuous creation of new space. He argues that time is also expanding and that the leading edge of the new time is what we experience as now. This thought-provoking vision has remarkable implications for some of our biggest questions, not only in physics but also in philosophy, including the ongoing debate about the reality of free will. Moreover, his theory is testable. Muller's monumental work will spark major debate about the most fundamental assumptions of our universe and may crack one of physics' longest-standing enigmas. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2016 Richard A. Muller (P)2016 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Worth the listen

I learned a lot and gained some perspective. I have read many physics books but this one has some better first principals explanations.

Also, nice job calling out physics on its shortcomings.

I could do without the free will and soul stuff.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

Unlike some of the reviews, I absolutely loved the end, and his take on the direction of time. I found the book to be very mind-opening. Concepts I had not considered. I bet at least some of the critics had their feelings hurt with criticism of Richard Dawkins' logic, thus they dissed the book. But the author also dismisses intelligent design as pseudoscience and tries to stay above the fray, and stick to figuring out the puzzle, with astounding conclusions. One of my favorite books.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Don Dean
  • COLORADO SPRINGS, Colombia
  • 10-05-16

The Physics of Time – Intelligent, Intuitive and a Great Read

Where does Now rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

1st… I rarely write reviews, and when I do, it's when I find its a book that has an author that has a very high IQ and is without a massive ego to go along with it. I was very pleased with the scientific content of Richard's book as well as how the story is laid out. For those of you, that enjoy Marcelo Gleiser's books; you'll most likely find The Physics of Time an enjoyable read. I would place this book in the top 3% of the hundreds of science-based audiobooks I've listened to in the last ten years.

What did you like best about this story?

While no physicist can fully tell their "story of time" without using advanced calculus, Richard Muller does an excellent job of simplifying the physics without " talking down" to the reader. He also provides his career experience regarding who he has worked with (such as Saul Perlmutter Nobel Prize winner 2011) which helps to make the story more interesting and personal. While the author is fully aware of the "strangeness of quantum mechanics" he eloquently tells the story of time without "falling into the rabbit hole" of absurdity. The author also does an excellent job in carefully helping the reader to understand what an incredible gift science is, but he also helps the reader to understand that science has its limits.I must say this is a refreshing perspective from the many other scientific authors that speak about the scientific method with "evangelical zeal."

Have you listened to any of Christopher Grove’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Christopher Grove did a great job narrating this book. A great voice and does a very good job in pronouncing some of the technical terms correctly

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes… Very engaging and very well narrated

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Interesting but surprising opinion

Overall the book is interesting and well written. A few notes though: I think his religious beliefs might distort his way of thinking or at least, at some moment, I felt the author is making an effort to reconciliate faith and reason. I don't agree with him regarding his opinion on free will and the existence of a soul beyond physical body, beyond consciousness. Those have no base other than belief. If it can't be disproved it does not mean it exists. All in all it's worth reading.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A book with good beginning that fizzles out in end

This is one of those books which could have been exceptionally good but fails to make it. It started off well and I developed high hopes only to find that as the book progressed it became philosophical ramblings of the author instead of a science book for lay people.

For example, in the latter part of the book the author starts discussing about soul and makes a point that he feels that he certainly has a soul though he is not sure about other animals. I have just one question for the author - if we have something like soul which other animals don't have , at what point during evolution did we develop it? Every cell in our body is a living thing , so does it mean that your soul is divided among trillions of cells?

Despite its flaws the book does shine in bits and pieces. Some topics have been explained well.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Bewildering, mind blowing, ultimately enlightening

I'm an artist and writer, very right-brained, sadly inept in mathematics and the sciences. Yet I have always been fascinated by Physics. Physics has remained a bewildering foreign language to me. Over the years, I thought if I listened to enough words spoken in the language Physics, I would suddenly understand it. Until this book, my hope has been unfulfilled. However, about half way through this book, my brain experienced an awakening to the notion of symmetry. I can't explain it, but from that moment forward, I understood, haltingly it is true, how and why Physics reveals and predicts the universe and life. I am going to listen to this book from the beginning again and again.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Big let down at the end

This book isn't about the physics of now, it's about free will and the soul.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Physics mixed with spiritual claptrap!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The subject is interesting without the author having to delve into his personal theology. I think Muller should have stuck to subjects on which he is informed and knowledgeable.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I was horrified that such an intelligent and educated man could buy into his own half-considered musings on the nature of the human soul and its interactions with the physical world. It was a truly flaccid ending to what would otherwise be a very interesting tome.

What does Christopher Grove bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

N/A

What character would you cut from Now?

The human soul.

Any additional comments?

A great example of why physicists should stick to what they are good at. I would as soon read a theologian's musing on the nature of reality as a physicists musings on the nature of the soul. Neither have much of interest to divulge.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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No. Sorry, Just No

I like Richard Muller and love Physics for Future Presidents. He jumps out on a limb in the book but unfortunately fails to make his case.

The best I can say is that he is clever to a point with semantics but really doesn't open the doors to a great, or as he would say, a more correct interpretation of time. Because entropy is a fluid process that cannot define 'now' is no reason to toss entropy as a means of defining time as best we are able. Really, time is fluid and there is no now. Before you can say now, the time has past. There is not frozen moment of time.

The book is interesting but I would not say it's ground breaking.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Not worth the time

This is a feeble attempt to use physics to conclude "a soul" exists.

The author puts down statements which cannot be tested throughout the first 20 something chapters ... then concludes with a statement which cannot be tested.

The book was well read and the book does address some of the interesting aspects of quantum physics and time ... but the author goes off the rails at the end.

There are plenty of other books on quantum physics and time ... I would NOT recommend this one.

9 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Willemoes Larsen
  • 09-16-17

Good start but bad end

Wery good in the first parts, but gets pseudo religious in the end. Thats a turn off, and the reasoning behind the theory of Now is just an opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • NRivere
  • 01-16-17

Incredible story and explanations.

Great food for thought and very complete.
Diagrams in Pdf.. But where is pdf? NO reference on where to get it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 12-02-16

Physicist is incompetent philosopher

Finishing this book was arduous.

The taxing condescending tone doesn't help the incompetent philosophy.

This book is about 5% interesting physics. The rest is wikipedia level introductory material and religious and political propaganda argued for without any understanding of the philosophical subjects involved.

This book would never pass peer review. Not that it has to.

Muller also rants about scientific metaphors using natural language terms, yet transgresses more on that front in this very volume than most.

May make an interesting read for fans of Chopra, otherwise avoid at all costs.

Terribly damaging to the intended audience, American High School students, this unclear mess is best forgotten about.

I suggest you wait for more papers on the actual theory being proposed - ephemerality as another horizon of expanding spacetime, the physics are truly interesting.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Samuel
  • 01-05-17

ok

some clear and well written passages, but not throughout! was hoping for more! on to the next

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  • Alexander Marinov
  • 10-28-16

cute

interesting story far connected to science and reality.
worthy listen it at least once. enjoy. learn and study

1 of 5 people found this review helpful