News Flash: Time is Real
This is to counterpose the picture which is developed in physics from Galileo and Newton and Descartes down to the present quantum cosmologists.
Lee attended Harvard University for graduate school receiving a Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1979. He held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, The Institute for Theoretical Physics (now KITP) in Santa Barbara and the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. This was followed by faculty positions at Yale, Syracuse and Penn State Universities, where he helped to found the Center for Gravitational Physics and Geometry. In September of 2001 he moved to Canada to be a founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, where he has been ever since.
Lee's main contributions to research are so far to the field of quantum gravity. He was, with Abhay Ashtekar and Carlo Rovelli, a founder of the approach known as loop quantum gravity, but he has contributed to other approaches including string theory and causal dynamical triangulations. He is also known for proposing the notion of the landscape of theories, based on his application of Darwinian methods to Cosmology. He has contributed also to the foundations of quantum mechanics, elementary particle physics and theoretical biology. He also has a strong interest in philosophy and his three books, Life of the Cosmos, Three Roads to Quantum Gravity and The Trouble with Physics are in part philosophical explorations of issues raised by contemporary physics.
By "time is real" I mean to say that the experience that we have that we live in a moment, so that everything we experience and know about is caught in time, is caught in a moment, is not an illusion.
It’s the deepest clue we have, perhaps, to the nature of reality. This is to counterpose the picture which is developed in physics from Galileo and Newton and Descartes down to the present quantum cosmologists. That time is an illusion, time is an auxiliary that the reality is behind this veil of illusion, is timeless, is permanent, is outside of time and that we just, as Einstein and many other people have said, we live – our experience of the distinction between past, present and future is an illusion and reality is just the whole history of the world at once.
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