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The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time


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Title The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time
Author Sean Carroll
Publisher Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)
Release Date 2009
Language English

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Subject Area Physics
Abstract Over a century ago, Boltzmann and others provided a microscopic understanding for the tendency of entropy to increase. But this understanding relies ultimately on an empirical fact about cosmology: the early universe had very low entropy. Why was it like that? Cosmologist aspire to provide a dynamical explanation for the observed state of the universe, but have had very little to say about the dramatic asymmetry between early times and late times. I will argue that the search for a natural explanation for the observed breakdown of time-reversal symmetry in cosmology leads us directly to interesting conclusions about inflation, quantum gravity, and the multiverse.


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