Foundations of Physics

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 437–443 | Cite as

The birth of time

  • J. Géhéniau
  • I. Prigogine
Part IV. Invited Papers Dedicated To John Archibald Wheeler


The formulation of the second law of thermodynamics in the frame of general relativity is reconsidered in the case of an istotropic homogeneous universe. We show that there appears then a direct link between the cosmological state of the universe, as expressed in terms of conformal coordinates, and quantities such as energy density, pressure, and entropy associated with the description of nature. In the early universe there appears a kind of phase transition due to transfer of gravitational energy to matter associated with the cosmological expansion if the universe starts with a non-Euclidian (space) state. As a result, we may envisage the possibility of a “cold big-bang model,” in which the universe would start at zero temperature and entropy. The temperature goes then through a maximum before entering the present area of cooling related to adiabatic expansion.


Entropy Phase Transition Energy Density General Relativity Direct Link 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Géhéniau
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. Prigogine
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Service de Chimie Physique IICampus PlaineBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Center for Studies in Statistical MechanicsThe University of TexasAustin

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