Foundations of Physics

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 877–912 | Cite as

The Global Arrow of Time as a Geometrical Property of the Universe

  • Mario Castagnino
  • Olimpia Lombardi
  • Luis Lara
Article

Abstract

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. We will call the arrow defined only on the basis of the geometrical properties of space-time, independently of any entropic considerations, “the global arrow of time.” In this paper we will argue that: (i) if certain conditions are satisfied, it is possible to define a global arrow of time for the universe as a whole, and (ii) the standard models of contemporary cosmology satisfy these conditions.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Castagnino
    • 1
  • Olimpia Lombardi
    • 2
  • Luis Lara
    • 3
  1. 1.CONICETInstituto de Astronomía y Física del EspacioBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.CONICET, Departamento de Filosofía de la CienciaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridEspaña
  3. 3.Departamento de FísicaUniversidad Nacional de RosarioRosarioArgentina

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