Brain Pickings

The Science of Why the Past is Different from the Future, Animated

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Measuring the universe’s disorder in order to understand the arrow of time.

I remain fascinated by time — its science, its visual representation, its subjective perception, its philosophical dimension. This wonderful short video from Minute Physics, based on Sean Carroll’s From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time, explores one of the most mind-bending questions about time: what makes the past different from the future?

Every difference between the past and the future can ultimately be traced to the fact that the entropy was lower in the past and is growing — that’s the second law of thermodynamics: the universe was orderly, and is becoming more disorderly.

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