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Open AccessArticle

Entropy Derived from Causality

Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, ETH Zuerich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 10, HCI F 225, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Entropy 2020, 22(6), 647;
Received: 13 May 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published: 10 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Thermodynamics)
The second law of thermodynamics, with its positive change of entropy for a system not in equilibrium, defines an arrow of time. Interestingly, also, causality, which is the connection between a cause and an effect, requests a direction of time by definition. It is noted that no other standard physical theories show this property. It is the attempt of this work to connect causality with entropy, which is possible by defining time as the metric of causality. Under this consideration that time appears only through a cause–effect relationship (“measured”, typically, in an apparatus called clock), it is demonstrated that time must be discrete in nature and cannot be continuous as assumed in all standard theories of physics including general and special relativity, and classical physics. The following lines of reasoning include: (i) (mechanical) causality requests that the cause must precede its effect (i.e., antecedence) requesting a discrete time interval >0. (ii) An infinitely small time step d t > 0 is thereby not sufficient to distinguish between cause and effect as a mathematical relationship between the two (i.e., Poisson bracket) will commute at a time interval d t , while not evidently within discrete time steps Δ t . As a consequence of a discrete time, entropy emerges (Riek, 2014) connecting causality and entropy to each other. View Full-Text
Keywords: discrete time; causality; entropy discrete time; causality; entropy
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Riek, R. Entropy Derived from Causality. Entropy 2020, 22, 647.

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