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Physics of Time

Edited by Virendra Tripathi (University of Nebraska, Lincoln, University of Nebraska, Omaha)
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  1. A. Agodi & M. A. Cassarino (1982). Time Ordering and the Lorentz Group. Foundations of Physics 12 (2):137-152.
    A simplified definition of point local clocks and the relationship between an inertial reference frame and a class of such clocks, at rest with respect to each other, are used for an algebraic determination of the geometry of Minkowski's space-time on the set of point events. The group of all automorphisms that preserve the time ordering induced by the set of all equivalent local clocks is shown to be generated by the inhomogeneous orthochronous Lorentz group and dilatations, consistently with a (...)
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  2. Horst Aichmann & Günter Nimtz (2014). On the Traversal Time of Barriers. Foundations of Physics 44 (6):678-688.
    Fifty years ago Hartman studied the barrier transmission time of wave packets (J Appl Phys 33:3427–3433, 1962). He was inspired by the tunneling experiments across thin insulating layers at that time. For opaque barriers he calculated faster than light propagation and a transmission time independent of barrier length, which is called the Hartman effect. A faster than light (FTL or superluminal) wave packet velocity was deduced in analog tunneling experiments with microwaves and with infrared light thirty years later. Recently, the (...)
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  3. J. Anandan (1999). Are There Dynamical Laws? Foundations of Physics 29 (11):1647-1672.
    The nature of a physical law is examined, and it is suggested that there may not be any fundamental dynamical laws. This explains the intrinsic indeterminism of quantum theory. The probabilities for transition from a given initial state to a final state then depends on the quantum geometry that is determined by symmetries, which may exist as relations between states in the absence of dynamical laws. This enables the experimentally well-confirmed quantum probabilities to be derived from the geometry of Hilbert (...)
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  4. Ioannis Antoniaou & Theodoros Christidis (2010). Bergsons Time and the Time Operator. Mind and Matter 8 (2):185-202.
    Bergson's views on time are supported by the time operator qualifying complex systems with a concept of time that is essentially difierent from the clock time used to register the events. Irreversibility, unpredictability, and innovation characterize complex systems in contrast with the reversibility, predictability and lack of novelties of the regular motions of integrable systems. The idea for this work came from our teacher Ilya Prigogine who pointed out repeatedly that the time operator actually incorporates Bergson's views on time. We (...)
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  5. Frank Arntzenius & Hilary Greaves (2009). Time Reversal in Classical Electromagnetism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):557-584.
    Richard Feynman has claimed that anti-particles are nothing but particles `propagating backwards in time'; that time reversing a particle state always turns it into the corresponding anti-particle state. According to standard quantum field theory textbooks this is not so: time reversal does not turn particles into anti-particles. Feynman's view is interesting because, in particular, it suggests a nonstandard, and possibly illuminating, interpretation of the CPT theorem. In this paper, we explore a classical analog of Feynman's view, in the context of (...)
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  6. Henryk Arodź & Maria Massalska-Arodź (2008). Physics of Time. Dialogue and Universalism 18 (9-10):55-69.
    Our article is an overview of a selection of findings in physics relating to the issue of time—we do not present in it any “time theory” of our own. After making some general remarks on the issue of time, we present historical outline and a brief description of the current state of time interval measurements. Subsequently, we go on to discuss certain (relating to the concept of time) consequences of both theories of relativity: special and general. Here, time is a (...)
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  7. Richard T. W. Arthur, Time Lapse and the Degeneracy of Time: Gödel, Proper Time and Becoming in Relativity Theory.
    In the transition to Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity (SR), certain concepts that had previously been thought to be univocal or absolute properties of systems turn out not to be. For instance, mass bifurcates into (i) the relativistically invariant proper mass m0, and (ii) the mass relative to an inertial frame in which it is moving at a speed v = βc, its relative mass m, whose quantity is a factor γ = (1 – β2) -1/2 times the proper mass, (...)
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  8. Richard T. W. Arthur, Time, Inertia and the Relativity Principle.
    In this paper I try to sort out a tangle of issues regarding time, inertia, proper time and the so-called “clock hypothesis” raised by Harvey Brown's discussion of them in his recent book, Physical Relativity. I attempt to clarify the connection between time and inertia, as well as the deficiencies in Newton's “derivation” of Corollary 5, by giving a group theoretic treatment original with J.-P. Provost. This shows how both the Galilei and Lorentz transformations may be derived from the relativity (...)
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  9. Guido Bacciagaluppi (2007). Probability, Arrow of Time and Decoherence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (2):439-456.
    This paper relates both to the metaphysics of probability and to the physics of time asymmetry. Using the formalism of decoherent histories, it investigates whether intuitions about intrinsic time directedness that are often associated with probability can be justified in the context of no-collapse approaches to quantum mechanics. The standard (two-vector) approach to time symmetry in the decoherent histories literature is criticised, and an alternative approach is proposed, based on two decoherence conditions ('forwards' and 'backwards') within the one-vector formalism. In (...)
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  10. Guido Bacciagaluppi, Probability and Time Symmetry in Classical Markov Processes.
    Definitions of time symmetry and examples of time-directed behaviour are discussed in the framework of discrete Markov processes. It is argued that typical examples of time-directed behaviour can be described using time-symmetric transition probabilities. Some current arguments in favour of a distinction between past and future on the basis of probabilistic considerations are thereby judged to be unjustified.
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  11. Lynne Rudder Baker (1974). Temporal Becoming: The Argument From Physics. Philosophical Forum 6 (2):218-236.
    Arguments about temporal becoming often get nowhere. One reason for the impasse lies in the fact that the issue has been formulated as a choice between science on the one hand and common sense (or ordinary language) on the other as the primary source of ontological commitment.' Often' proponents of attributing temporal becoming to the physical universe look to everyday temporal concepts, find them infested with notions involving temporal becoming and conclude that becoming is a basic feature of the physical (...)
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  12. Yuri Balashov, Enduring and Perduring Objects in Minkowski.
    I examine the issue of persistence over time in the context of the special theory of relativity (SR). The four-dimensional ontology of perduring objects is clearly favored by SR. But it is a different question if and to what extent this ontology is required, and the rival endurantist ontology ruled out, by this theory. In addressing this question, I take the essential idea of endurantism, that objects are wholly present at single moments of time, and argue that it commits one (...)
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  13. Julian Barbour (1999). The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics. Weidenfeld and Nicholson.
    In a revolutionary new book, a theoretical physicist attacks the foundations of modern scientific theory, including the notion of time, as he shares evidence of ...
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  14. Adrian Bardon (ed.) (2011). The Future of the Philosophy of Time. Routledge.

    The last century has seen enormous progress in our understanding of time. This volume features original essays by the foremost philosophers of time discussing the goals and methodology of the philosophy of time, and examining the best way to move forward with regard to the field's core issues.

    The collection is unique in combining cutting edge work on time with a focus on the big picture of time studies as a discipline. The major questions asked include:

    • What are (...)
    • Is the passage of time real, or just a subjective phenomenon?
    • Are the past and future real, or is the present all that exists?
    • If the future is real and unchanging (as contemporary physics seems to suggest), how is free will possible?
    • Since only the present moment is perceived, how does the experience as we know it come about? How does experience take on its character of a continuous flow of moments or events?
    • What explains the apparent one-way direction of time?
    • Is time travel a logical/metaphysical possibility?
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  15. Sam Baron, Peter Evans & Kristie Miller (2010). From Timeless Physical Theory to Timelessness. Humana.Mente 13:35-59.
    This paper addresses the extent to which both Julian Barbour‘s Machian formulation of general relativity and his interpretation of canonical quantum gravity can be called timeless. We differentiate two types of timelessness in Barbour‘s (1994a, 1994b and 1999c). We argue that Barbour‘s metaphysical contention that ours is a timeless world is crucially lacking an account of the essential features of time—an account of what features our world would need to have if it were to count as being one in which (...)
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  16. Samuel Baron & Kristie Miller (2015). What is Temporal Error Theory? Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2427-2444.
    Much current debate in the metaphysics of time is between A-theorists and B-theorists. Central to this debate is the assumption that time exists and that the task of metaphysics is to catalogue time’s features. Relatively little consideration has been given to an error theory about time. Since there is very little extant work on temporal error theory the goal of this paper is simply to lay the groundwork to allow future discussion of the relative merits of such a view. The (...)
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  17. B. Baumgartner (1994). Postulates for Time Evolution in Quantum Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 24 (6):855-872.
    A detailed list of postulates is formulated in an algebraic setting. These postulates are sufficient to entail the standard time evolution governed by the Schrödinger or Dirac equation. They are also necessary in a strong sense: Dropping any one of the postulates allows for other types of time evolution, as is demonstrated with examples. Some philosophical remarks hint on possible further investigations.
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  18. Oleg Bazaluk (2003). T I M E in the Light of a New Cosmological Conception. Porogi.
    This small book continues the theoretical study on the structure of the universe. It examines the category of “time” in the light of a new cosmological model proposed by the author in his book “The Origin of Mankind”. It is generally accepted that after researches of A. Einstein, А. Minkovsky and others space and time are considered in their interrelation, as the continuum. Nevertheless, the category of “time” is still a bone of contention and a cause of a great deal (...)
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  19. Oleg Bazaluk (ed.) ( 2012). Philosophy and Cosmology 2012 (The Journal of International Society of Philosophy and Cosmology (ISPC) ). ISPC.
    The Journal «Philosophy and Cosmology» (ISSN 2307-3705) was established by Oleg Bazaluk as a press organ of International Society of Philosophy and Cosmology at 2004. This Society was established in the setting of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskiy State Pedagogical University. Initially the Journal was printed as a special edition of Ukrainian philosophical journal «Sententiae» (Editor-in-Chief - Oleg Khoma) and covered scientific and philosophical researches of the space problematic. Since 2008, Journal «Philosophy and Cosmology» is an independent printed issue. Since 2009, together with coming (...)
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  20. John Bell, Time and Causation in Gödel's Universe.
    In 1949 the great logician Kurt Gödel constructed the first mathematical models of the universe in which travel into the past is, in theory at least, possible. Within the framework of Einstein’s general theory of relativity Gödel produced cosmological solutions to Einstein’s field equations which contain closed time-like curves, that is, curves in spacetime which, despite being closed, still represent possible paths of bodies. An object moving along such a path would travel back into its own past, to the very (...)
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  21. Nuel Belnap, From Newtonian Determinism to Branching-Space-Time Indeterminism.
    Logik, Begriffe, Prinzipien des Handelns (Logic, Concepts, Principles of Action). Thomas Müller/ Albert Newen (eds.), mentis Verlag GmbII, 2007, pp. 13–31.
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  22. Nuel Belnap (1992). Branching Space-Time. Synthese 92 (3):385 - 434.
    Branching space-time is a simple blend of relativity and indeterminism. Postulates and definitions rigorously describe the causal order relation between possible point events. The key postulate is a version of everything has a causal origin; key defined terms include history and choice point. Some elementary but helpful facts are proved. Application is made to the status of causal contemporaries of indeterministic events, to how splitting of histories happens, to indeterminism without choice, and to Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen distant correlations.
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  23. Gordon Belot (2013). Time in Classical and Relativistic Physics. In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Blackwell 185-200.
    This is a short, nontechnical introduction to features of time in classical and relativistic physics and their representation in the four-dimensional geometry of spacetime. Topics discussed include: the relativity of simultaneity in special and general relativity; the ‘twin paradox’ and differential aging effects in special and general relativity; and time travel in general relativity.
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  24. Gordon Belot (2007). The Representation of Time and Change in Mechanics. In John Earman & Jeremy Butterfield (eds.), Philosophy of Physics. Elsevier 133--227.
    This chapter is concerned with the representation of time and change in classical (i.e., non-quantum) physical theories. One of the main goals of the chapter is to attempt to clarify the nature and scope of the so-called problem of time: a knot of technical and interpretative problems that appear to stand in the way of attempts to quantize general relativity, and which have their roots in the general covariance of that theory. The most natural approach to these questions is via (...)
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  25. Gordon Belot (1998). Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point. Philosophical Review 107 (3):477-480.
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  26. Hanoch Ben-Yami (2015). Causal Order, Temporal Order, and Becoming in Special Relativity. Topoi 34 (1):277-281.
    I reconstruct from Rietdijk and Putnam’s well-known papers an argument against the applicability of the concept of becoming in Special Relativity, which I think is unaffected by some of the objections found in the literature. I then consider a line of thought found in the discussion of the possible conventionality of simultaneity in Special Relativity, beginning with Reichenbach, and apply it to the debate over becoming. We see that it immediately renders Rietdijk and Putnam’s argument unsound. I end by comparing (...)
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  27. George Berger (1972). Temporally Symmetric Causal Relations in Minkowski Space-Time. Synthese 24 (1-2):58 - 73.
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  28. George Kenneth Berger (1970). Time and Thermodynamics. Dissertation, Columbia University
  29. Erwin Biser (1952). Postulates for Physical Time. Philosophy of Science 19 (1):50-69.
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  30. Craig Bourne (2004). Becoming Inflated. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):107-119.
    Some have thought that the process of the expansion of the universe can be used to define an absolute ‘cosmic time’ which then serves as the absolute time required by tensed theories of time. Indeed, this is the very reason why many tense theorists are happy to concede that special relativity is incompatible with the tense thesis, because they think that general relativity, which trumps special relativity, and on which modern cosmology rests, supplies the means of defining temporal becoming using (...)
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  31. Dennis E. Boyle (1998). Far Away Now: Time and Distance Revisited. Metaphilosophy 29 (4):306-312.
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  32. Michael Bradie (1985). Recent Developments in the Physics of Time and General Cosmology. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 12 (4):371-395.
  33. Harvey R. Brown & Oliver Pooley (2006). Minkowski Space-Time: A Glorious Non-Entity. In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime. Elsevier 67--89.
    It is argued that Minkowski space-time cannot serve as the deep structure within a ``constructive'' version of the special theory of relativity, contrary to widespread opinion in the philosophical community.
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  34. Mario Bunge (1972). Time Asymmetry, Time Reversal, and Irreversibility. In J. T. Fraser, F. Haber & G. Muller (eds.), The Study of Time. Springer-Verlag 122--130.
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  35. Jeremy Butterfield, Against Pointillisme: A Call to Arms.
    This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme. That is the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the point-by-point facts. Elsewhere, I argued against pointillisme about chrono-geometry, and about velocity in classical mechanics. In both cases, attention focussed on temporal extrinsicality: (...)
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  36. Jeremy Butterfield (ed.) (1999). The Arguments of Time. Published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press.
    These nine essays address fundamental questions about time in philosophy, physics, linguistics, and psychology. Are there facts about the future? Could we affect the past? In physics, general relativity and quantum theory give contradictory treatments of time. So in the current search for a theory of quantum gravity, which should give way: general relativity or quantum theory? In linguistics and psychology, how does our language represent time, and how do our minds keep track of it?
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  37. Jeremy Butterfield (1989). The Hole Truth. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40 (1):1-28.
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  38. Michael Byrd (1978). Megarian Necessity in Forward-Branching, Backward-Linear Time. Noûs 12 (4):463-469.
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  39. Mary Whiton Calkins (1899). Time as Related to Causality and to Space. Mind 8 (30):216-232.
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  40. Craig Callender, What Makes Time Special.
    What is the difference between time and space? This question, once a central one in metaphysics, has not been treated kindly by recent history. By joining together space and time into spacetime Minkowski sapped some of the spirit out of this project. That is unfortunate, however, for even in relativistic theories there remain sharp and important metrical and topological distinctions between the timelike and spacelike directions of spacetime. Questions about what these differences are, why they exist and how they are (...)
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  41. Craig Callender, Time in Physics.
    No one conception of time emerges from a study of physics. As science changes—over time or through varying interpretations at a time—our conception of physical time changes. Each of these changes and resulting theories of time has been the subject of philosophical scrutiny, so there are many philosophical controversies internal to particular physical theories. For instance, the move to special relativity radically transformed our understanding of time, but it also gave rise to debates about the nature of simultaneity within the (...)
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  42. Craig Callender (ed.) (2011). The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press.
    This is the first comprehensive book on the philosophy of time. Leading philosophers discuss the metaphysics of time, our experience and representation of time, the role of time in ethics and action, and philosophical issues in the sciences of time, especially quantum mechanics and relativity theory.
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  43. Craig Callender, The Past Hypothesis Meets Gravity.
    The Past Hypothesis is the claim that the Boltzmann entropy of the universe was extremely low when the universe began. Can we make sense of this claim when *classical* gravitation is included in the system? I first show that the standard rationale for not worrying about gravity is too quick. If the paper does nothing else, my hope is that it gets the problems induced by gravity the attention they deserve in the foundations of physics. I then try to make (...)
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  44. Craig Callender (2008). The Common Now. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):339-361.
    The manifest image is teeming with activity. Objects are booming and buzzing by, changing their locations and properties, vivid perceptions are replaced, and we seem to be inexorably slipping into the future. Time—or at least our experience in time— seems a very turbulent sort of thing. By contrast, time in the scientist image seems very still. The fundamental laws of physics don’t differentiate between past and future, nor do they pick out a present moment that flows. Except for a minus (...)
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  45. Craig Callender (1997). Review of H. Price, Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point'. [REVIEW] Metascience 11:68-71.
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  46. Craig Callender & Robert Weingard (1994). The Bohmian Model of Quantum Cosmology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:218 - 227.
    A realist causal model of quantum cosmology (QC) is developed. By applying the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics to QC, we resolve the notorious 'problem of time' in QC, and derive exact equations of motion for cosmological dynamical variables. Due to this success, it is argued that if the situation in QC is used as a yardstick by which other interpretations are measured, the de Broglie-Bohm theory seems uniquely fit as an interpretation of quantum mechanics.
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  47. Milic Capek (1960). The Theory of Eternal Recurrence in Modern Philosophy of Science, with Special Reference to C. S. Peirce. Journal of Philosophy 57 (9):289-296.
    The cyclical theory f time, which is better known under the name of the 'theory of eternal recurrence,' is usually associated with certain ancient thinkers--in particular, Pythagoreans and Stoics. The most famous among those who have tried to revive the theory in the modern era is unquestionably Friedrich Nietzsche. It is less well known that the theory was defended also by C.S. Peirce and, as late as 1927, by the French historian of science, Abel Rey. The contemporary discussion of the (...)
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  48. Mario Castagnino, Olimpia Lombardi & Luis Lara (2003). The Global Arrow of Time as a Geometrical Property of the Universe. Foundations of Physics 33 (6):877-912.
    Traditional discussions about the arrow of time in general involve the concept of entropy. In the cosmological context, the direction past-to-future is usually related to the direction of the gradient of the entropy function of the universe. But the definition of the entropy of the universe is a very controversial matter. Moreover, thermodynamics is a phenomenological theory. Geometrical properties of space-time provide a more fundamental and less controversial way of defining an arrow of time for the universe as a whole. (...)
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  49. Mario Castagnino, Olimpia Lombardi & Luis Lara, The Arrow of Time in Cosmology.
    Scientific cosmology is an empirical discipline whose objects of study are the large-scale properties of the universe. In this context, it is usual to call the direction of the expansion of the universe the "cosmological arrow of time". However, there is no reason for privileging the ‘radius’ of the universe for defining the arrow of time over other geometrical properties of the space-time. Traditional discussions about the arrow of time in general involve the concept of entropy. In the cosmological context, (...)
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  50. P. Catillon, N. Cue, M. J. Gaillard, R. Genre, M. Gouanère, R. G. Kirsch, J.-C. Poizat, J. Remillieux, L. Roussel & M. Spighel (2008). A Search for the de Broglie Particle Internal Clock by Means of Electron Channeling. Foundations of Physics 38 (7):659-664.
    The particle internal clock conjectured by de Broglie in 1924 was investigated in a channeling experiment using a beam of ∼80 MeV electrons aligned along the 〈110〉 direction of a 1 μm thick silicon crystal. Some of the electrons undergo a rosette motion, in which they interact with a single atomic row. When the electron energy is finely varied, the rate of electron transmission at 0° shows a 8% dip within 0.5% of the resonance energy, 80.874 MeV, for which the (...)
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