Jan 24, 2016

How Time Could Move Backwards In Parallel Universes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, information science, physics

Understanding time is one of the big open questions of physics, and it has puzzled philosophers throughout history. What is time? Why does it appear to have a direction? The concept is defined as the “arrow of time,” which is used to indicate that time is asymmetric – even though most laws of the universe are perfectly symmetric.

A potential explanation for this has now been put forward. Physicist Sean Carroll from CalTech and cosmologist Alan Guth from MIT created a simulation that shows that arrows of time can arise naturally from a perfectly symmetric system of equations.

The arrow of time comes from observing that time does indeed seem to pass for us and that the direction of time is consistent with the increase in entropy in the universe. Entropy is the measure of the disorder of the world; an intact egg has less entropy than a broken one, and if we see a broken egg, we know that it used to be unbroken. Our experience tells us that broken eggs don’t jump back together, that ice cubes melt, and that tidying up a room requires a lot more energy than making it messy.

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