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Physics debate: Time vectors and time travel

Prof. Dr Anthony Leggett, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, held a guest lecture at the University of Freiburg on the topic: “Why Doesn’t Time Run Backwards?“ In our video interview he reveals whether he thinks it will one day be possible to build a time machine.


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No matter how many clocks you look at, time only moves in one direction. (Foto: © SerrNovik /  factsheet2.png

We can remember the past and influence the future — but not the other way around. Physicists around the world are at odds as to why this is so. Leggett’s answer is grounded on the so-called Second Law of Thermodynamics. According to definition, this law has to do primarily with the state of equilibrium in systems and with the processes caused by a change in state. Leggett explains in a video interview to what extent this law can be applied to the question of a set direction of time.

Download the printable version here.


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Anthony Leggett ist Professor für Physik an der University of Illinois in Urbana, USA. 2003 erhielt er für seine Erkenntnisse auf dem Gebiet der Suprafluidität den Nobelpreis für Physik. Leggett war im November 2010 Gast am Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) der Universität Freiburg. Er hielt in der 7. Hermann Staudinger Lecture einen Vortrag über die physikalische Sicht auf das Phänomen „Zeit“. Im Rahmen der öffentlichen Hermann Staudinger Lectures werden Nobelpreisträger aus aller Welt zu einem Gastvortrag nach Freiburg eingeladen.





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