Physics Colloquium: "The Trouble with Einstein's Time"


Jimena Canales, author of "The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate That Changed Our Understanding of Time"

Date Wed, 03/28/2018

141 Loomis

Time 4:00 pm

Department of Physics

Event Type Seminar/Symposium

Current debates about time have left “a hole at the heart of physics” (Scientific American, Sept 2002). The main problem with our current understanding of time is usually traced to Einstein’s theory of relativity, to the notion of a “block universe,” and to his famous claim that “the distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” While some scientist have tried to incorporate elements of our experience of time into our explanations of the universe, others continue to claim that our sense of time is simply illusory. Can these debates be solved by science alone or are they inescapably philosophical, historical and cultural? My talk will explore the origins of this persistent quandary by focusing on the relation of physics to philosophy, history and the humanities. Can we solve the problem of time without engaging in “Science Wars”?