Why can’t time go backwards?

Want to read something that isn’t about politics? Courtesy of BBC News, I have just the article for you! It begins,

“When Isaac Newton published his famous Principia in 1687, his three elegant laws of motion solved a lot of problems. … But these laws brought to physics a new problem …. The issue is that Newton’s laws work about twice as well as we might expect them to. They … also account perfectly well for a world in which people walk backwards, clocks tick back afternoon to morning, and fruit soars up from the ground to its tree-branch … they don’t distinguish between the past and the future.”

In other words, he couldn’t explain why time only goes forward, never backwards. Neither can modern physics:

“The problem is not confined to the centuries-old theories of Newton. Virtually all of the cornerstone theories of physics since then have worked just as well going forward in time as they do backwards …. Starting from Newton, and then Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism, then Einstein’s work, and then quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, general relativity, and even quantum gravity – there is no distinction between past and future.”


“How does a clear direction of time emerge from these descriptions of the Universe, which all lack their own arrow of time? … Why does time pass?”

And when you ask 21st-century physicists that question, you get physicists talking about “entropy of the universe.” Read the BBC News article here and try to wrap your mind around it.

This is, of course, a plot on my part to get you to read my postings about politics, where things are so much simpler and less abstract, even downright black-and-white.

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