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Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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Kenneth Bruce Lucas: on 11/21/08 at 10:17am UTC, wrote Essay Abstract Is time an arrow or a boomerang? Time is extremely...


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FQXi FORUM
July 16, 2020

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Time: Arrow or Boomerang? by Kenneth Bruce Lucas [refresh]
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Kenneth Bruce Lucas wrote on Nov. 21, 2008 @ 10:17 GMT
Essay Abstract

Is time an arrow or a boomerang? Time is extremely important for human society, but is what humans call "time" an aspect of physics other than a means of measuring the rate that physical processes occur. We measure time as cycles and perhaps that is all time is -- a series of interacting cycles. The universe may have had a beginning, but probably not in either the way supported by religious leaders or in exactly the manner described by most physicists. If the universe came from a black hole, it is more likely that the material left as jets of "lumpy" material instead of as separate subatomic particles. The gradual "loss" of energy into a state in which some energy no longer interacts with the universe is the only real indicator of an "arrow of time". A steady state universe would require that black holes, or some other physical phenomena, recycle this energy perhaps by absorbing low energy radiation and matter and then emitting both as jets capable of producing new stars. If time is a physical dimension, matter would probably not be able to travel backwards through time, but perhaps information could, especially if the human mind exists in a dimension above time. I don't claim to have the answers to these questions only speculation about what the answers might involve.

Author Bio

I've been interested in space-time since I discovered George Gamow in high school. I'm a mathematician with undergraduate work in the field of geometry of higher dimensions but my graduate work involved the study of human behavior. As a generalist I study all aspects of human behavior including how humans view and interact with physical reality. B.A. Oklahoma Baptist University. 100 hours beyond M.A. University of Kansas in a variety of fields including computer science. I'm an intellectual jack of all trades, master of none.

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