Large Grants
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Previous Programs

2018 Agency in the Physical World
Awardees; RFP download

2016 Physics of the Observer
Awardees; RFP download

2015 The Physics of What Happens
Awardees; RFP download

2013 Physics of Information
Awardees; RFP download

2010 The Nature of Time
Awardees; RFP download

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

Julian Barbour
Oxford University

Project Title

The Nature of Time and the Structure of Space

Project Summary

My research project addresses the most fundamental questions in dynamics: What is space? What is time? What is motion? They were hotly debated by Newton and Leibniz three centuries ago and still have central importance because they have to be reconsidered with each new advance in our understanding of nature. They are critical for the greatest outstanding problem in physics: the unification of Einstein's general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics in order to create a quantum theory of the universe. Such a theory is needed to explain why the universe exists in the form it does, why it seems to have been created in a big bang, and why ``never resting time'' seems always to flow forward from past to future through an elusive present. For many years, I have studied the foundations of dynamics and have shown that Einstein's theory of relativity answers the questions as to the nature of space, time, and motion in a manner that has not hitherto been fully appreciated. My project has two aims: to bring this study to its conclusion and to summarize all this work in a book written to help the creation of the quantum theory of the universe.

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