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Is time an elemental part of nature?

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Prof asks. From ScienceDaily:

In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A, Associate Professor Joan Vaccaro challenges the long-held presumption that time evolution — the incessant unfolding of the universe over time — is an elemental part of Nature.

In the paper, entitled “Quantum asymmetry between time and space,” she suggests there may be a deeper origin due to a difference between the two directions of time: to the future and to the past.

According to the paper, an asymmetry exists between time and space in the sense that physical systems inevitably evolve over time whereas there is no corresponding ubiquitous translation over space.

This asymmetry, long presumed to be elemental, is represented by equations of motion and conservation laws that operate differently over time and space.

However, Associate Professor Vaccaro used a “sum-over-paths formalism” to demonstrate the possibility of a time and space symmetry, meaning the conventional view of time evolution would need to be revisited.

“In the connection between time and space, space is easier to understand because it’s simply there. But time is forever forcing us towards the future,” says Associate Professor Vaccaro.

“Yet while we are indeed moving forward in time, there is also always some movement backwards, a kind of jiggling effect, and it is this movement I want to measure using these K and B mesons.”

Associate Professor Vaccaro says the research provides a solution to the origin of dynamics, an issue that has long perplexed science. More.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG So, readers, what do we make of this kick at the can?

See also: Arrow of time points to missing dark matter? Time doesn’t go backward, and that is a problem in current physics.

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Here’s the abstract:

An asymmetry exists between time and space in the sense that physical systems inevitably evolve over time, whereas there is no corresponding ubiquitous translation over space. The asymmetry, which is presumed to be elemental, is represented by equations of motion and conservation laws that operate differently over time and space. If, however, the asymmetry was found to be due to deeper causes, this conventional view of time evolution would need reworking. Here we show, using a sum-over-paths formalism, that a violation of time reversal (T) symmetry might be such a cause. If T symmetry is obeyed, then the formalism treats time and space symmetrically such that states of matter are localized both in space and in time. In this case, equations of motion and conservation laws are undefined or inapplicable. However, if T symmetry is violated, then the same sum over paths formalism yields states that are localized in space and distributed without bound over time, creating an asymmetry between time and space. Moreover, the states satisfy an equation of motion (the Schrödinger equation) and conservation laws apply. This suggests that the time–space asymmetry is not elemental as currently presumed, and that T violation may have a deep connection with time evolution. (Public access) – Joan A. Vaccaro. Quantum asymmetry between time and space. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Science, 2016; 472 (2185): 20150670 DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2015.0670

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One Reply to “Is time an elemental part of nature?

  1. 1
    Mapou says:

    My take: The universe is like a giant clock with a single heartbeat for everything in it. There is only the ever changing present. Time is abstract.

    PS. I love the “time flies” design by Jenny Walsh.

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