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There’s no going back

March 26, 2020

One of the curiosities in physics is how to account for the fact that time has (or seems to have?) a direction. The reason that can be a puzzle is that all of the fundamental trajectory laws — Newton’s, Maxwell’s, Einstein’s, and even the Schrödinger equation — are all time symmetric. Of course, they all are differential equations, on real or complex manifolds. And the thing about numbers is that they are arbitrarily fine. No matter how small an open interval is, it is mathematically equivalent to the entire. Real space and time, we suspect, are not like that. Below the Planck length, things get messy. So it is interesting that a dynamic system as simple as three massive black holes, initial state differences smaller than a Planck length can cause large divergence. (Cite.)

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