The Elegant Universe

Elegant solutions to science's biggest questions.

Julian Barbour is a British physicist with research interests in quantum gravity and the history of science. He rose to public prominence on the back of his 1999 book, The End of Time, which proposed the idea of timeless physics: the controversial view that time, as we perceive it, does not exist as anything other than an illusion. Since then, he has also written The Discovery of Dynamics and Absolute or Relative Motion?

We spoke to him about the structure of space, time as an illusion, and the possibility of finding an elegant description of the universe we live in.

Newton and Leibniz had conflicting ideas about the structure of space. How did they differ, and which of the two proved to be more successful in describing the universe?

Newton thought that space is like a huge block of unchanging and invisible ice with each point like every other. He felt he needed such a concept to make sense of his first law of mo

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation