Until the End of Time Book Summary - Until the End of Time Book explained in key points
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Until the End of Time summary

Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe

4.5 (126 ratings)
28 mins

Brief summary

'Until the End of Time' by Brian Greene takes a deep dive into the history of the universe, exploring our understanding of space, time, and our place within it all. Through scientific and philosophical perspectives, Greene urges us to contemplate life's biggest questions.

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    Until the End of Time
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    Everything that has ever existed, from planet earth to your favorite sweater, exists because of entropy.

    You’ve heard that death and taxes are the only inevitabilities in life, right? Well, entropy is the death part of the equation. Now, death and destruction aren’t the most popular kids at school, but the fact that all things must come to an end does have a way of helping us appreciate the good things in life. The new leaves of spring are even more glorious because we know they’ll eventually turn red and fall. Your child’s birthdays are all the more precious because you know she’ll grow up before you know it.

    From a physics perspective, entropy is the disorganizing principle that puts all existence and achievement into context, because it imposes a limit. We can’t just innovate forever, either individually or as a species, because eventually – hate to break it to you – we’re all going to die.

    The key message here is: Everything that has ever existed, from planet earth to your favorite sweater, exists because of entropy.

    The second law of thermodynamics tells us that there is an overwhelming tendency for things to degrade into disorder, or move into a state of higher entropy. Take your desk – if it is not already in a state of high entropy, it’s likely that it will evolve toward it. For an ordered system to retain its low-entropy status, it has to transfer this build-up of entropy to its environment.

    Every tangible thing in the universe, from the galactic Milky Way to the candy bar melting in your handbag, is an ordered arrangement of specific particles in an extremely low-entropy configuration. Universally speaking, high-entropy configurations are a dime a dozen, because they’re a loose collection of non-specific particles in no particular order. So when we encounter a low-entropy configuration, we should sit up and take notice. Particles would never just coalesce into a bicycle or an egg. There have to be powerful organizing influences at work to put them in order, and keep them that way.

    Given that high entropy is the most common state for particles in the universe, how do we explain all the low-entropy configurations you hold dear, like, say, your friends and family? Even further, what happens to all that entropy that is expelled as waste from low-entropy configurations, everything from stars in the night sky to your bedside table?

    The answer is something you’ve definitely heard of: the big bang. This was a highly-ordered, very low-entropy, one-in-a-trillion-trillion-trillion situation. And get ready, because what happened next is pretty wild. 

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    What is Until the End of Time about?

    Until the End of Time (2020) is an accessible, informal look at the loftiest topics of all time: time, the universe, and humanity’s never ending quest for meaning. Physicist Brian Greene begins at the very beginning – the big bang that set off this whole crazy spectacle – then zooms in to examine the evolution of human culture, from religion, language, and the arts. Finally, he zooms back out to examine what might become of the universe, and whether there might ever be a reemergence of life.

    Until the End of Time Review

    Until the End of Time (2020) by Brian Greene explores the grand sweep of the universe and the timeless questions about existence and our place in it. Here's why you should read it:

    • With a blend of science and philosophy, this book stretches your mind and forces you to ponder the mysteries of the universe.
    • Greene's eloquent and accessible explanations make complex scientific concepts relatable and engaging for readers of all backgrounds.
    • The book seamlessly weaves together stories from the natural world, history, and the frontiers of physics, leaving you captivated and hungry for more knowledge.

    Who should read Until the End of Time?

    • Exploratory minds
    • Science buffs with a poetic streak
    • Far-futurists

    About the Author

    Brian Greene is a theoretical physicist and string theorist. He is the author of five books on physics written for the general public. Along with his wife, he is the co-founder of the World Science Festival, intended to cultivate a general public informed by science.

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    Until the End of Time FAQs 

    What is the main message of Until the End of Time?

    The main message of Until the End of Time explores the nature of the universe, the meaning of life, and the enduring power of love.

    How long does it take to read Until the End of Time?

    The reading time for Until the End of Time varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Until the End of Time a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Until the End of Time is a thought-provoking read for anyone interested in science, philosophy, and the mysteries of existence.

    Who is the author of Until the End of Time?

    The author of Until the End of Time is Brian Greene.

    What to read after Until the End of Time?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Until the End of Time, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Big Picture by Sean Carroll
    • The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli
    • The Particle at the End of the Universe by Sean Carroll
    • The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose
    • The Biggest Ideas in the Universe by Sean Carroll
    • The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
    • The Janus Point by Julian Barbour
    • What If? by Randall Munroe
    • Welcome to the Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli