Thursday, September 01, 2011

Carroll on Time: emergent or fundamental?

My favorite part of Sean Carroll's posts on the nature of Time was about emergence vs. fundamental time ...

Time exists...The real question is whether or not time is fundamental, or perhaps emergent. We used to think that “temperature” was a basic category of nature, but now we know it emerges from the motion of atoms. When it comes to whether time is fundamental, the answer is: nobody knows. My bet is “yes,” but we’ll need to understand quantum gravity much better before we can say for sure.

Carroll, my favorite physics blogger, confirmed that I was on the right track when I wrote entanglement and the realness of time. I wasn't just making it up! I'm willing to bet a beer that within fifteen years the consensus will be that time is emergent rather than fundamental. That's easy for me to say, I really have no idea what I'm talking about.

Reading the essay I'm reminded that in classic General Relativity Fate rules; a life history is fixed from death to birth, like the track of an ancient LP. Calvin would approve.

I wonder if Carroll holds that opinion as well, updated for an era of Quantum Gravity perhaps with a twist of the many worlds interpretation of QM.

Modern physics is so weird.

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