September 1, 2012

Physicists Relieved: Arrow of Time Really Does Exist

The Economist, The Economist

AP Photo

TIME seems to flow inexorably in one direction. Superficially, that is because things deteriorate with age—and this, in turn, is because there are innumerably fewer ways to arrange particles in an orderly fashion than in a jumbled mess. Any change in an existing arrangement is therefore likely to increase its disorder.

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When the new ideas of quantum mechanics spread through science like wildfire in the first half of the 20th century, one of the first things physicists did was to apply them to gravity and general relativity. The result were not... more ››