Causality and the arrow of classical time

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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DOI 10.1016/S1355-2198(99)00030-1
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References found in this work BETA
Fritz Rohrlich (1988). Pluralistic Ontology and Theory Reduction in the Physical Sciences. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (3):295-312.

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Citations of this work BETA
Carlo Rovelli (2004). Comment On: “Causality and the Arrow of Classical Time”, by Fritz Rohrlich. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 35 (3):397-405.
G. F. R. Ellis (2002). The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 33 (2):377-385.

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