The Order of Time (book)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Order of Time
The Order of Time (book).jpg
First Italian edition (2017)
AuthorCarlo Rovelli
Original titleL'ordine del tempo
PublisherPenguin Books (English edition)
Publication date
Published in English
Media typePrint, Digital, Audio CD
Pages224 (English edition)
ISBN9780241292525 (English hardcover edition)

The Order of Time (Italian: L'ordine del tempo) is a book by Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli, a specialist in quantum gravity research, about time in physics.[1][2][3][4][5] An audiobook, four hours and nineteen minutes long, was read by Benedict Cumberbatch.[6]


The Order of Time is divided into three sections, covering the theory of relativity, space-time, loop quantum gravity, and thermodynamics. The first section, The Crumbling of Time, opens with Rovelli explaining time, which is considered as a fourth dimension in space-time. He then discusses Ludwig Boltzmann's concept of entropy, which never decreases, and its role in thermodynamics and Bayesian probability theory, which Rovelli described as "the only equation of fundamental physics that knows any difference between past and future", and concluded that the direction of time is lost. In the second part, The World without Time, Rovelli writes that events constitute the universe instead of particles, and introduces the concept of quanta of time in loop quantum gravity. The final section, The Sources of Time, proposes that the apparent flow of time is due to the inability to observe all the microscopic details of the world.[4]


Book Marks reported that the book received generally positive reviews.[7] Writing for The Guardian, Ian Thomson praised the "lucid" writing, translation, and compared it to Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, describing it as a "a deeper, more abstruse meditation" but "jargon-free".[2] Cosmologist Anthony Aguirre, in a generally positive review, noted that some portions of the book "occupy a frustrating ground between too technical and not technical enough".[8]


  1. ^ Peschel, Joseph (June 22, 2018). "Review | A physicist explains the 'greatest remaining mystery': The nature of time". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Thomson, Ian (April 24, 2018). "The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli review – a worthy heir to Stephen Hawking". The Guardian. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  3. ^ Banville, John (May 12, 2018). "The Order of Time review: Where physics and philosophy meet". The Irish Times. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Jaffe, Andrew (April 2018). "The illusion of time". Nature. 556 (7701): 304–305. Bibcode:2018Natur.556..304J. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-04558-7.
  5. ^ Natarajan, Priyamvada (June 1, 2018). "'The Order of Time' Review: Stop All the Clocks". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Lightman, Alan (May 14, 2018). "Benedict Cumberbatch Meets Albert Einstein in Carlo Rovelli's New Audiobook". The New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  7. ^ "Book Marks reviews of The Order of Time by Carlos Rovelli, Trans. by Erica Segre and Simon Carnell". Book Marks. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  8. ^ Aguirre, Anthony (February 2019). "Is the future as real as the present?". Physics Today. 72 (2): 60–61. doi:10.1063/PT.3.4146. ISSN 0031-9228.