Sunday, November 27, 2016

PhiDiP 11/29/16: All About Time

This Tuesday we will be holding our final PhiDiP discussion of the semester and we will be talking all about time. Why does time seem to flow in only one direction? How would the universe differ if time flowed backwards? How are entropy and the arrow of time related? Could the second law of thermodynamics ever be violated, allowing entropy to decrease in a system? What do the concepts of past, present, and future really mean?

For background material this week we have an article and a brief video.

First up is an article about the role of time in physics and some of the challenges we face in defining even everyday concepts like 'now.' Thanks to Dr. Loats for the recommendation!

Now-And The Physics of Time
"Time is elusive and enigmatic. The moment now is ephemeral. Quandaries and confusion about time date back as far as Aristotle and Augustine, and as recently as Einstein and Feynman"  Read more...

Maxwell's Demon-The Demon That Betters The World
A short video (3min) that provides an introduction to a thought experiment known as 'Maxwell's Demon' which would theoretically violate the second law of thermodynamics. The video also addresses some of the recent progress made in actually creating an experiment to test this idea.