Graduate studies at Western
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 31 (1):1-13 (2000)
|Abstract||It is claimed that the `problem of the arrow of time in classical dynamics' has been solved. Since all classical particles have a self-field (gravitational and in some cases also electromagnetic), their dynamics must include self-interaction. This fact and the observation that the domain of validity of classical physics is restricted to distances not less than of the order of a Compton wavelength (thus excluding point particles), leads to the conclusion that the fundamental classical equations of motion are not invariant under time reversal: retarded self-interactions lead to different equations than advanced ones. Since causality (the time order of cause and effect) requires retarded rather than advanced self-interaction, it is causality which is ultimately responsible for the arrow of time. Classical motions described by equations with advanced self-interactions differ from retarded ones and do not occur in nature.|
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