Stephen Hawking suggests there are three arrows of time. First, there is the thermodynamic arrow, which relates to entropy. This arrow points in the direction of disorder increasing—for example, whole glasses smashing into pieces, rather than smashed glasses forming into whole ones. The psychological arrow of time relates to the thermodynamic arrow as our memories form in the same direction of growing disorder. While our brain, or a computer’s, may become more ordered with the creation of memories, that order is outweighed by the heat, a disordered form of energy, emitted into the universe during the process. These two arrows always point in the same direction. The third arrow is the cosmological arrow of time, which is the direction the universe is expanding or contracting, meaning that arrow is not always pointing the same way as the other two.
Arrows of time Term Timeline in A Brief History of Time
The timeline below shows where the term Arrows of time appears in A Brief History of Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Entropy, a concept defined in the second law of thermodynamics, directs the first, thermodynamic, arrow of time. Second is the psychological arrow of time, which is the direction we feel... (full context)
...suggests the no boundary universe model and the weak anthropic principle explain why these three arrows all point the same way, and why they exist at all. The thermodynamic arrow determines... (full context)
...might also have been lumpy and disordered. If the universe was completely disordered, the thermodynamic arrow might well point the opposite way from the cosmological arrow, but that is not what... (full context)
...to clump, forming galaxies, stars, and people. In this way disorder increased, creating the thermodynamic arrow of time, pointing the same way as the cosmological arrow of time, or the universe’s... (full context)
...then arises as to whether disorder decreases as the universe begins to collapse—would the thermodynamic arrow reverse as the cosmological arrow does? At first Hawking believed so. He thought the universe... (full context)
...science do not distinguish between the forward and backward direction of time, but the three arrows of time do. Human understanding has created order in a small corner of an ever-more... (full context)