Search FQXi

If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest

Previous Contests

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American


How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help

Harish Kumar: on 10/10/19 at 5:54am UTC, wrote It is a pleasant reading your essay. it appears you have examined the...

Narendra Nath: on 12/6/08 at 16:02pm UTC, wrote Dear Dr. Parikh. It is a pleasant reading your essay. it appears you have...

Carl Brannen: on 12/2/08 at 22:20pm UTC, wrote Interesting and thought provoking essay. The thing about analyzing energy...

Maulik Parikh: on 12/2/08 at 14:36pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract The future differs from the past: it has more...


Balybin Urievich: "As for me, teaching the younger generation is one of the main tasks of..." in The Present State of...

John Cox: "Okay. In Topology, all points on a sphere are vector positions and..." in The Quantum Identity...

Vending Ways: "Vending Ways is a UAE-based leading distributor of Coin Operated Washing..." in MCQST2021 | The universe...

Steve Dufourny: "David Bohm developed a method for comcrete dialogues rather than debates..." in Global Collaboration

Steve Dufourny: "One of the problems is the difficulty to unite and convice. The majority..." in Global Collaboration

Thomas Ray: "Kobi, You write as if information accumulates like physical grains of sand..." in Mathematical Models of...

Thomas Ray: "Nicholas, Indeed. This sums up pretty much what I had in mind when I..." in Mathematical Models of...

Thomas Ray: "I think of it this way: Just as the quality "color" is known not by the..." in The Quantum Identity...

click titles to read articles

The Math of Consciousness: Q&A with Kobi Kremnitzer
A meditating mathematician is developing a theory of conscious experience to help understand the boundary between the quantum and classical world.

Can We Feel What It’s Like to Be Quantum?
Underground experiments in the heart of the Italian mountains are testing the links between consciousness and collapse theories of quantum physics.

The Thermodynamic Limits of Intelligence: Q&A with David Wolpert
Calculating the energy needed to acquire and compute information could help explain the (in)efficiency of human brains and guide the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Gambling Against the Second Law
Using precision thermometry to make mini heat engines, that might, momentarily, bust through the thermodynamic limit.

Mind and Machine: What Does It Mean to Be Sentient?
Using neural networks to test definitions of 'autonomy.'

May 21, 2022

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Weakening Gravity's Grip on the Arrow of Time by Maulik Parikh [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

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

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share

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?

Bookmark and Share

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.