The Arrow of Time – Origins of Irreversibility

The Arrow of Time – Origins of Irreversibility

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Jürg Fröhlich, ETH Zurich

That time appears to have an “arrow” and real-world processes appear to be irreversible is a fundamental experience. Has anybody ever met someone who was born as an old person and died as a baby? Has anybody observed the pieces of a broken vase recompose to the original? In this lecture I present examples of physical phenomena exhibiting an“arrow of time” that illustrate different mechanisms underlying  irreversible behavior. I start with a derivation of the second Law of thermodynamics and continue with Brownian motion and Hamiltonian friction. A discussion of the fundamental irreversibility of the evolution of states in quantum mechanics will be the pinnacle of the lecture.

Zoom link: https://princeton.zoom.us/j/92147928280

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