Barnett, Lincoln

Time itself will come to an end. For entropy points the direction of time. Entropy is the measure of randomness. When all system and order in the universe have vanished, when randomness is at its maximum, and entropy cannot be increased, when there is no longer any sequence of cause and effect, in short when the universe has run down, there will be no direction to time—there will be no time.

The Universe and Dr Einstein Chapter 14 (p. 103)

Carlyle, Thomas

...no hammer in the horologue of Time peals through the universe when there is a change from Era to Era. Men understand not what is among their hands...

On History

Eddington, Sir Arthur

Whatever may be time de jure, the Astronomer Royal's time is time de facto. His time permeates every corner of physics.

The Nature of the Physical World Chapter III (p. 36)

Lightman, Alan

There is a place where time stands still. . . illuminated by only the most feeble red light, for light is diminished to almost nothing at the center of time, its vibrations slowed to echoes in vast canyons, its intensity reduced to the faint glow of fireflies.

Einstein's Dreams 14 May 1905 (pp. 70, 72-3)

Lyell, Charles

We aspire in vain to assign limits to the works of creation in space, whether we examine the starry heavens, or that world of minute animalcules which is revealed to us by the microscope. We are prepared, therefore, to find that in time also the confines of the universe lie beyond the reach of mortal ken.

Principles of Geology Concluding Remarks

Mann, Thomas

Time has no division to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.

The Magic Mountain Whims of Mercurius (p. 225)

McLuhan, Marshall Fiore, Quentin

Our time is a time for crossing barriers, for erasing old categories—for probing around.

The Medium is the Message (p. 10)

Poinsot, Louis

If anyone asked me to define time, I should reply: 'Do you know what it is that you speak of?' If he said 'Yes,' I should answer, 'Very well, let us talk about it.' If he said 'No,' I should answer, 'Very well, let us talk about something else.'

In William Maddock Bayliss Principles of General Physiology Preface (p. xvii)

Saint Augustine

For what is time? Who can easily and briefly explain it? Who even in thought can comprehend it, even to the pronouncing of a word concerning it? But what in speaking do we refer to more familiarly and knowingly than time? And certainly we understand when we speak of it; we understand also when we hear it spoken of by another. What, then, is time? If no one ask of me, I know; if I wish to explain to him who asks, I know not.

Confessions Book XI, XIV, 17

Shakespeare, William

There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered.

Othello, The Moor of Venice Act I, scene iii, L. 376

Unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the signs of leaping-houses, and the blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-colour'd taffeta, I see no reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to inquire the nature of time.

The First Part of King Henry the Fourth Act I, scene ii, L. 7-10

Silesius, Angelus

Do not compute eternity as light-year after year One step across that line called Time Eternity is here.

The Book of Angelus Silesius Of Time and Eternity (p. 42)

Swinburne, Richard

It would be an error to suppose that if the universe is infinitely old, and each state of the universe at each instant of time has a complete explanation which is a scientific explanation in terms of a previous state of the universe and natural laws (and so God is not invoked), that the existence of the universe throughout infinite time has a complete explanation, or even a full explanation. It has not. It has neither. It is totally inexplicable.

The Existence of God Chapter 7 (p. 122)


In astronomy, we are concerned, not with defining time, but only with measuring it.

Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Ephemeris and the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac

Weil, Simone

Time is an image of eternity, but it is also a substitute for eternity.

Gravity and Grace Renunciation of Time (p. 65)

"Can an instantaneous cube exist?" "Don't follow you," said Filby.

"Can a cube that does not last for any time at all, have a real existence?" Filby became pensive. "Clearly," the Time Traveler proceeded, "any real body must have extension in four directions: it must have Length,

Breadth, Thickness, and—Duration...There are really four dimensions, three which we call the three planes of Space and a fourth, Time. There is, however, a tendency to draw an unreal distinction between the former three dimensions and the latter, because it happens that our consciousness moves intermittently in one direction along the latter from the beginning to the end of our lives."

Seven Famous Novels by H.G. Wells The Time Machine Chapter 1 (pp. 3-4)

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