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FQXi FORUM
June 24, 2018

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Weakening Gravity's Grip on the Arrow of Time by Maulik Parikh [refresh]
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Maulik Parikh wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 14:36 GMT
Essay Abstract

The future differs from the past: it has more entropy. No theoretical framework including inflation has yet provided a dynamical origin for this elementary fact, the thermodynamic arrow of time. I argue that by weakening the strength or range of gravity at early times, one can find a natural way to obtain the smooth conditions present in the early universe.

Author Bio

Maulik Parikh is a theoretical high-energy physicist. He did his bachelor's at the University of California at Berkeley followed by a PhD in physics from Princeton University. After post-doctoral stints at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and at Columbia University, he is now faculty at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in India. In 2004 he won the Gravity Research Foundation essay competition for a paper he wrote on black holes.

Download Essay PDF File

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Carl Brannen wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 22:20 GMT
Interesting and thought provoking essay.

The thing about analyzing energy in the context of the Big Bang is that energy is due to the symmetry of physics with respect to time (by Noether's theorem). But the Big Bang indicates a lack of symmetry in something, so maybe energy, or gravity, was not conserved.

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Narendra Nath wrote on Dec. 6, 2008 @ 16:02 GMT
Dear Dr. Parikh.

It is a pleasant reading your essay. it appears you have examined the problem in a chronological way. You demand the weakening of gravity to start with. It may either be in strength or in range. The later means that there is a saturation aspect attached to it. In this context, it is interesting to examine the initial very short lived inflation of the Universe. Its explanation may well include repulsive nature of gravity at short range that becomes attractive otherwise. This is similar to what has been accepted to be true for the strong nuclear force.

In my essay here, i have tried to provide some perspectives for the early universe. Being a novice in the field, i could contemplate in a more or less unbaised manner, so i feel! can you provide some comments, in spite of your late arrival in this contest?

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