Hans Reichenbach

Ever a source of philosophical conjecture and debate, the concept of time represents the beating heart of physics. This final work by the distinguished physicist Hans Reichenbach represents the culmination and integration of a lifetime’s philosophical contributions and inquiries into time analysis. The result is an excellent overview of such qualitative, topological, and time attributes as order and direction.

Beginning with a discussion of the emotive significance of time, Reichenbach examines the time order of mechanics, the time direction of thermodynamics and micro statistics, the time direction of macrostatistics, and the time of quantum physics. He offers coherent explanations of the analytic methods of scientific philosophy in the investigation of probability, quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, and causality — methods that he applies here and helps develop and refine.

Physics Today observed that “For a generation, Professor Reichenbach has worked as almost no other man to bring to the interpretation of modern physics the critical and reflective thinking of a trained philosopher. Most physicists who retain an interest in philosophy, and many who wanted to understand physics, have read some of the earlier books of Reichenbach, and this one is the best by a good deal.”