Beyond the dynamical Universe: Unifying block Universe physics and time as experienced

Michael Silberstein, Elizabethtown College
W. M. Stuckey, Elizabethtown College
Timothy McDevitt, Elizabethtown College


Theoretical physics and foundations of physics have not made much progress in the last few decades. There is no consensus among researchers on how to approach unifying general relativity and quantum field theory (quantum gravity), explaining so-called dark energy and dark matter (cosmology), or the interpretation and implications of quantum mechanics and relativity. In addition, both fields are deeply puzzled about various facets of time including, above all, time as experienced. This book argues that this impasse is the result of the "dynamical universe paradigm," the idea that reality fundamentally comprises physical entities that evolve in time from some initial state according to dynamical laws. Thus, in the dynamical universe, the initial conditions plus the dynamical laws explain everything else going exclusively forward in time. In cosmology, for example, the initial conditions reside in the Big Bang and the dynamical law is supplied by general relativity. Accordingly, the present state of the universe is explained exclusively by its past. A completely new paradigm (called Relational Blockworld) is offered here whereby the past, present, and future co-determine each other via "adynamical global constraints," such as the least action principle. Accordingly, the future is just as important for explaining the present as the past is. Most of the book is devoted to showing how Relational Blockworld resolves many of the current conundrums of both theoretical physics and foundations of physics, including the mystery of time as experienced and how that experience relates to the block universe.