Einstein didn’t think time was an illusion




In a famous letter to a bereaved family friend, Einstein wrote: “For those of us who believe in physics, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion”.  This has been widely interpreted to mean that Einstein’s theory of relativity itself implies that the passage of time is an illusion and that time, like space, has no direction, a position often referred to as “the block universe”. But despite Einstein revolutionizing our understanding of time, nothing in his theory fr relativity suggests that the distinction between past, present, and future is an illusuion, argues Tim Maudlin.  Albert Einstein had the double-edged gift of writing striking aperçus. Instead of saying “Quantum mechanics is on the right track, but I am not convinced that the laws of physics are indeterministic” he penned to his friend Max Born “The theory provides much, but it doesn’t bring us closer to the mystery of the Old One. In any case…

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