The End of Time

This submission is a response to an existing submission: 

The End of Time is a book by Julian Barbour, a British physicist.

The book advances the controversial view that time does not exist as anything other than an illusion, and that a number of problems in physical theory arise from assuming that it does exist. He argues that we have no evidence of the past other than our memory of it, and no evidence of the future other than our belief in it. "Change merely creates an illusion of time, with each individual moment existing in its own right, complete and whole." He calls these moments "Nows". It is all an illusion: there is no motion and no change. He argues that the illusion of time is what we interpret through what he calls "time capsules," which are "any fixed pattern that creates or encodes the appearance of motion, change or history."

"Mach remarked “It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite the contrary, time is an abstraction at which we arrive through the changes of things.” Thus, time as such does not exist but only change. Much of my research has been devoted to the implications of this insight. I have shown how, alongside the relativity of motion, the notion of time as change can be built into the foundations of dynamics. In fact, this idea is contained in a hidden form within general relativity. Its potential consequences for the yet to be found quantum mechanics of the universe are profound. The quantum universe is likely to be static. Motion and the apparent passage of time may be nothing but very well founded illusions."

from Julian Barbour's website,


Barbour, J. 1999. The End of Time. Oxford Univ. Press.