The asymmetry of nature under a ‘reversal of time’ (that is, a reversal of motion and change) appears only too obvious to us, as it deeply affects our own form of existence. If physics is to justify the hypothesis that its laws control everything that happens in nature, it should be able to explain or describe this fundamental asymmetry which defines what may be called a direction in time or even — as will have to be explained — a direction of time. Surprisingly, the very laws of nature are in pronounced contrast to this fundamental asymmetry.


Symmetry Transformation Symmetry Violation Extremal Trajectory Multivalued Logic Negative Heat Capacity 
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  1. 1.
    Cf. the forms ‘is’ and ‘will be’ in different languages. Similarly, the ancient Egyptian double concept of time (roughly djet for completed time and neheh for the time of becoming) instead of our geometric concepts of past, present and future is already based on these asymmetric operational aspects for which physics is expected to provide the foundation.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Die Bahn entsteht erst dadurch daß wir sie beobachten.“Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Was beobachtet worden ist, existiert gewiß.“ Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Das Erscheinen eines bestimmten Ortes xo bei der Beobachtung… wird dann als außerhalb der Naturgesetze stehende Schöpfung aufgefaßt.“ Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.-Dieter Zeh
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergFed. Rep. of Germany

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