Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Time is one of the most enigmatic terms one would have trouble describing. Take a breath and try describing it now. What is time?
Most simplistically time is simply a mathematical dimension describing change in the position of objects in space. It is not a physical quantity like matter but a virtual quantity.
But fundamentally time or more accurately the arrow of time points to a direction in which a quantity we call Entropy increases.
Entropy is disorder in the Universe and it is always on the rise. The order does not come back by itself; it is as if the arrow of time prevents it from happening.
There is also constant loss during the process of making order. Even if we spend energy to restore the order there will always be an amount of entropy we could not restore (conservation of energy).
This is a war we cannot win.
It is for Entropy dust disperses, disorder increases and decay starts to prevail in a room if we don’t clean it up regularly by adding more energy. Ultimately all living species borrow this energy from the Sun so that we could restore stuff and experience living.
The reason we have an illusion that there appears to be an eternal order in the Universe is because in our limited part of the Universe and in our pathetically short life span it appears so.
Life (plants and animals) constantly restores order by spending energy they borrow from the Sun. In our short-life span we avoid realisation of distant-past and far future that have no practical implications.
But in reality the fuel of Sun is not endless end it will die in about 5 billion years into the future. That would be the time when the debt of energy borrowed by all living species for the duration of life would be settled. Entropy will win or rather we would pay our debt by turning into dust.
In its ultimate twilight the increase in entropy will slow down, and the Universe will be in its heat-death. No heat to restore anything.
The Temperature of History
Recommended background music: Blade Runner End Title.