• Laura Mersini-Houghton
  • Rüdiger Vaas
Part of the Fundamental Theories of Physics book series (FTPH, volume 172)


Time is of central importance to science and philosophy. And yet, the simplest questions is time real, or is it an essential part of the structure of human intellect? remain largely controversial. Theories of nature can be broadly categorized into two sets of information: physical laws which relate the sequence of states of a system, and initial conditions determined at a fixed moment in time. Clearly, a description of the succession of states or the choice of an initial moment where data about the system is defined, also involve time. Understanding this turns out to be as difficult as probing the origins of the universe since both physical laws and initial conditions assume a concept of time, which, in most cases, is inseparably interwoven into the theory and its predicted outcomes. Though time is ubiquitous and intuitive, it still defies comprehension. Disentangling ourselves from time to enable objective and independent investigation is the challenge.


Black Hole Quantum Gravity Apparent Horizon Quantum Cosmology Time Symmetry 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. Physics and AstronomyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.bild der wissenschaftLeinfelden-Echt.Germany

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