Physicsblogging: I do love it when real things sound like science fiction.


Maccone’s solution is to suggest that in fact entropy-decreasing events occur all the time – so there is no asymmetry and no associated mystery about the arrow of time.

He argues that quantum mechanics dictates that if anyone does observe an entropy-decreasing event, their memories of the event “will have been erased by necessity”.

Maccone doesn’t mean that your memories will never form in the first place. “What I’m pointing out is that memories are formed and then are subsequently erased,” he tells me.

When you observe any system, according to Maccone, you enter into a “quantum entanglement” with it. That is, you and the system are entangled and cannot properly be described separately.

The entanglement, Maccone says, is between your memory and the system. When you disentangle, “the disentangling operation will erase this entanglement, namely the observer’s memory”. His paper derives this conclusion mathematically.

While we cannot remember our cups of coffee re-heating, and hence cannot study them, Maccone thinks that entropy-decreasing events like that must happen.

“If transformations that increase the entropy do occur – and we know that they do – by symmetry we should expect also transformations that decrease the entropy – but we cannot see them.”

More here.


2 Responses to “Physicsblogging: I do love it when real things sound like science fiction.”

  1. ben wolfson Says:

    Sounds more like horseshit than science fiction, really.

  2. FUG Says:

    Cosmic Variance had a good article on this:

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