The Arrow of Time in the Equations of Motion

Foundations of Physics 28 (7):1045-1056 (1998)
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Abstract

It is argued that time's arrow is present in all equations of motion. But it is absent in the point particle approximations commonly made. In particular, the Lorentz-Abraham-Dirac equation is time-reversal invariant only because it approximates the charged particle by a point. But since classical electrodynamics is valid only for finite size particles, the equations of motion for particles of finite size must be considered. Those equations are indeed found to lack time-reversal invariance, thus ensuring an arrow of time. Similarly, more careful considerations of the equations of motion for gravitational interactions also show an arrow of time. The existence of arrows of time in quantum dynamics is also emphasized

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Citations of this work

Causality and the arrow of classical time.Fritz Rohrlich - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 31 (1):1-13.
Causality and the Arrow of Classical Time.Fritz Rohrlich - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 31 (1):1-13.
The arrow of time and meaning.Pierre Uzan - 2006 - Foundations of Science 12 (2):109-137.

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References found in this work

The arrow of time in quantum gravity.Chuang Liu - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (4):619-637.

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