The Arrow of Time


The Theory of Relativity is quite clear about time and space:  In relativistic terms there is no such thing as time and no such thing as space. Spacetime however does exist as a history of an entire universe, that is, the set of all of the events that happened (past tense) in that universe. Feynman described a history track composed of frames which we "observe" in succession in a "forward" direction (the prime requisite of consciousness -- if the arrow is "halted" or moved backward, no conscious observation is made).

Stephen Hawking's attempts to popularize his work in book form for the general public leave a great deal to be desired (from a technical standpoint).  Fortunately, his papers are available, and his early technical work which built on the previous work of Penrose is available in book form. See: Hawking, S.W., Ellis. G.F.R. (1973) The Large Scale Structure of Spacetime (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England). See also: Penrose, R. (1967) "Structure of Space-Time", in Battelle Rencontres: 1967 Lectures in Mathematics and Physics edited by C.M. DeWitt and J.A. Wheeler (Benjamin,
New York).
 

Jim Belec
from a post to the Virtropy mail list
Sun, 9 May 1999
 
 
 
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page uploaded 26 February 1999
modified 10 May