The Arrows of Time: A Debate in Cosmology

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Laura Mersini-Houghton, Rudy Vaas
Springer Science & Business Media, May 30, 2012 - Science - 222 pages

The concept of time has fascinated humanity throughout recorded history, and it remains one of the biggest mysteries in science and philosophy. Time is clearly one of the fundamental building blocks of the universe and thus a deeper understanding of nature at a fundamental level also demands a comprehension of time. Furthermore, the origins of the universe are closely intertwined with the puzzle of time: Did time emerge at the Big Bang? Why does the arrow of time ‘conspire’ with the order of the initial state of the universe?

This book addresses many of the most important questions about time: What is time, and is it fundamental or emergent? Why is there such an arrow of time, closely related to the initial state of the universe, and why do the cosmic, thermodynamic and other arrows agree? These issues are discussed here by leading experts, and each offers a new perspective on the debate. Their contributions delve into the most difficult research topic in physics, also describing the latest cutting edge research on the subject. The book also offers readers a comparison between the different outlooks of philosophy, physics and cosmology on the puzzle of time.

This volume is intended to be useful for research purposes, but most chapters are also accessible to a more general audience of scientifically educated readers looking for deeper insights.

 

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Contents

Introduction
2
Time After Time Big Bang Cosmology and the Arrows of Time
5
Fundamental Loss of Quantum Coherence from Quantum Gravity
43
The Clock Ambiguity Implications and New Developments
53
Holographic Cosmology and the Arrow of Time
69
The Emergent Nature of Time and the Complex Numbers in Quantum Cosmology
109
The Phantom Bounce A New Proposal for an Oscillating Cosmology
149
Notes on Times Enigma
157
A Momentous Arrow of Time
169
Can the Arrow of Time Be Understood from Quantum Cosmology?
191
Open Questions Regarding the Arrow of Time
204
Index
218
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