The human view of the arrow of time

Which is forward and which is backward? We can’t tell, and it doesn’t matter!
A box of gas molecules evolves from an initial state of low entropy (left) to a final state of high entropy (right).
These are snapshots of a box of gas molecules at two different times, long after the initial ordered state. We cannot tell which of these frames happened first and which happened second.

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Hari Padmanabhan

Hari Padmanabhan

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Postdoctoral researcher at Harvard, studying the physics of materials.