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Seminar on History and Philosophy of Science

Wednesday, October 11, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
Disappearing Without a Trace: The Arrows of Time in Kent's Solution to the Lorentzian Quantum Reality Problem
Emily Adlam, Assistant Professor, Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University,

Abstract: Most existing proposals to explain the temporal asymmetries we see around us are sited within an approach to physics based on time evolution, and thus they typically put the asymmetry in at the beginning of time in the form of a special initial state. But there may be other possibilities for explaining temporal asymmetries if we don't presuppose the time evolution paradigm. In this article, we explore one such possibility, based on Kent's `final-measurement' interpretation of quantum mechanics. We argue that this approach potentially has the resources to explain the electromagnetic asymmetry, the thermodynamic asymmetry, the coarse-graining asymmetry, the fork asymmetry, the record asymmetry, and the cosmological asymmetry, and that the explanations it offers may potentially be better than explanations appealing to a special initial state. Our hope is that this example will encourage further exploration of novel approaches to temporal asymmetry outside of the time evolution paradigm.

For more information, please contact Fran Tise by phone at 626-395-3609 or by email at [email protected].