Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Wave of Anti-Entropy; from black holes to biology


It seems odd that we may be able to divine fate from mathematical rules, but classical physics describes nothing less than a deterministic universe.  According to Roger Penrose, in his massive tome The Emporer's New Mind, all of the classical physical laws, and even most of the quantum laws, suggest that time can be read as easily backwards as forwards.  "Newton's laws, Hamilton's equations, Maxwell's equations, Einstein's general relativity, Dirac's equation, the Schrodinger equation - all remain effectively unaltered if we reverse the direction of time," he says on page 392 of his ridiculously large book.  Indeed Penrose points out that the laws of physics provide predictions and are symmetrical regarding time; i.e. the rules are the same whether we go forward (t) or backwards (-t) in time. He goes on to say that, "the future determines the past in just the same way that the past determines the future."