An Arrow of Time

The astrophysicist Arthur Eddington defined the Arrow of Time in 1927 as any physical quantity that exhibits time-asymmetry. The Arrow of Time is observed almost everywhere – time itself, in ever increasing entropy of thermodynamics, the expanding universe and the irreversible way human societies and cultures amalgamate today.

But the human mind likes to think of happy things. Subconsciously, we associate periodic systems such as the clock and the moon with time. For us, there is always a tomorrow and a next month. There is no dearth of time as time is forever and it seems to repeat itself. But an average human life consists of 900 odd months, and an average day consists of 24 hours, of which we are forced to do nothing for a third. After that, in the words of John Keating, whether cadaver or charcoal, we will be fertilizing daffodils.

When Eddington talked of the Arrow of Time, he was just curious to know more about the laws of God and nature. I am guessing he probably didn’t sleep that night in 1927.

A shot of the Met Life Tower in New York on a New Year’s eve about twelve months ago.


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