Open Questions: Time Asymmetry (Time's Arrow)
See also: Relativity and time
The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly
Sites with general resources
- Home page.
Surveys, overviews, tutorials
Arrow of time
- Article from
Time Before Time
- August 2006 article from Seed Magazine, by Sean
"An event like the Big Bang is about as likely as billions
of coin tosses all coming up heads. Explaining why that is
might take us from empty space to other universes--and through
the mirror of time."
Does Time Run Backward in Other Universes?
Sean M. Carroll
Scientific American, May 2008
- From Here to Eternity
Discover, December 2000, pp. 54-61
- British theoretical physicist Julian Barbour has been redeveloping
fundamental concepts of physics to eliminate the notion of "time".
The hope is that this may finally make possible to unify quantum
mechanics and general relativity.
- Victor J. Stenger -- Timeless Reality: Symmetry, Simplicity,
and Multiple Universes
Prometheus Books, 2000
- The dominant subject of Stenger's book is time. He argues
that time symmetry is real, and that the "arrow of time" is
largely an illusion. But in the process, he touches on a number
of other issues in physics and cosmology: quantum theory,
symmetry in general, particles and fields, and multiple
- Julian Barbour -- The End of Time: The Next Revolution in
Oxford University Press, 1999
- Perhaps the problem of the "arrow of time" is just an illusion
because time itself is neither a useful nor a necessary concept in
physics. Barbour's book is an extended argument that this is the
case, and an explanation of how physics can do without the concept
- L. S. Schulman -- Time's Arrows and Quantum Measurement
Cambridge University Press, 1997
- A fairly advanced treatment that considers the thermodynamic
and cosmological arrows of time as a basis for a quantum
measurement theory of time.
- Huw Price -- Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point: New Directions
for the Physics of Time
Oxford University Press, 1996
- A philosopher's perspective on many topics in the physics
of time. The various "arrows" which seem to establish an
assymmetry in time are considered, with particular attention
to cosmology and quantum theory.
- Paul Davies -- About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution
Simon & Schuster, 1995
- Nontechnical with emphasis on relativity, black holes, quantum
mechanics, and the possibility of time travel.
- Steven F. Savitt (ed.) -- Time's Arrows Today: Recent Physical
and Philosophical Work on the Direction of Time
Cambridge University Press, 1995
- Collection of technical but mostly non-mathematical papers
in the areas of cosmology, quantum theory, thermodynamics, and
time travel. One of the better references on the subject.
- J. J. Halliwell, J. Pérez-Mercader, W. H. Zurek (eds.) --
Physical Origins of Time Asymmetry
Cambridge University Press, 1994
- Large collection of papers, some rather technical and mathematical.
Topics include computation, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics,
cosmology, and gravitational physics.
- Peter Coveney, Roger Highfield -- The Arrow of Time
Fawcette Columbine, 1990
- A nontechnical exposition that concentrates on thermodynamics,
with biological applications. Also brings in some "chaos" theory.
- Paul Halpern -- Time Journeys: A Search for Cosmic Destiny and
- Brief, popular treatment with some physics but overall
emphasis on philosophical aspects.
- Paul Horwich -- Asymmetries in Time: Problems in the Philosophy of
MIT Press, 1987
- Emphasis is more on philosophical issues like knowledge and
causation than the scientific
ones, but still a relevant work.
- Raymond Flood, Michael Lockwood (eds.) -- The Nature of Time
Basil Blackwell, 1986
- Collection of essays by eminent scientists and philosophers,
mostly technical but non-mathematical. Topics include relativity,
black holes, cosmology, theormodynamics, and quantum mechanics.
- Richard Morris -- Time's Arrows: Scientific Attitudes Toward
Simon and Schuster, 1985
- Competent popular account of the basic scientific issues.
- G. J. Whitrow -- The Natural Philosophy of Time
Oxford University Press, 1980
- And in-depth philosophical analysis of time that considers
human and biological time as well as time in the mathematical,
relativistic, and cosmological perspectives.
- P. C. W. Davies -- The Physics of Time Asymmetry
University of California Press, 1976
- Somewhat technical account that focuses on thermodynamics,
cosmology, electromagnetic theory, and quantum mechanics.
Copyright © 2002 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved