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The Problem of the Direction of Time

Monday, 23 September 2019, 7 – 9pm

The Problem of the Direction of Time

Our everyday experience of being in the world is swarming with vivid and obvious and innumerable distinctions between the past and the future.  Paper burns but never un-burns, sugar dissolves in coffee but never spontaneously separates out of it, we have memories and records of the past but not of the future, we are convinced that by acting now we can affect the future but not the past, and so on.  But there seems to be no trace of such a distinction anywhere in the fundamental microscopic laws of nature.  And the tension between these two facts has been sitting at the heart of our scientific picture of the world for more than a century now.  And the question of what to make of that tension, and what to do with that tension, has come to be called the problem of the direction of time. That problem, and various attempts at solving it, will be the topic of this talk.   

This talk on the philosophy and physics of time will be delivered by Professor David Albert, Frederick E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. The event is organised by Trinity's Department of Philosophy. 

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Neill Lecture Theatre
Research Theme: Identities in Transformation
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff
Contact Name: Dr Alison Fernandes

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