Article

Sharpening the Electromagnetic Arrow(s) of Time

John Earman

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199298204
Published online September 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199298204.003.0017

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Sharpening the Electromagnetic Arrow(s) of Time

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Time in electromagnetism shares many features with time in other physical theories. But there is one aspect of electromagnetism's relationship with time that has always been controversial, yet has not always attracted the limelight it deserves: the electromagnetic arrow of time. Beginning with a re-analysis of a famous argument between Ritz and Einstein over the origins of the radiation arrow, this chapter frames the debate between modern Einsteinians and neo-Ritzians. It tries to find a clean statement of what the arrow is and then explains how it relates to the cosmological and thermodynamic arrows, representing the most developed and sophisticated attack yet, in either the physics or philosophy literature, on the electromagnetic arrow of time.

Keywords: time's arrow; Ritz and Einstein; thermodynamic arrows; electromagnetic arrow; cosmological arrow

Article.  21921 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; Metaphysics ; Philosophy of Science

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