Absorber and Entropy Theories of Radiation

Mathias Frisch

in Inconsistency, Asymmetry, and Non-Locality

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195172157
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835294 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science

 Absorber and Entropy Theories of Radiation

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This chapter criticizes absorber accounts of radiation asymmetry in the tradition of Wheeler and Feynman’s time-symmetric action-at-a-distance theory, and ‘pure entropy accounts’ of the asymmetry. Wheeler and Feynman appeal to two distinct conceptions of an absorber: a general formal model and a specific physical model of an absorber as a dilute plasma. It is argued that all attempts to derive asymmetry within the formal model by invoking statistical or cosmological arguments fail.

Keywords: absorber; radiation asymmetry; entropy

Chapter.  12581 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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