Home » ECEA-4 » Section a: Statistical Physics » Paper

[] Beyond the arrow of time: can there be a relation between measurement of entropy and time?

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University
20 November 2017
0/5 rated ( 0 ratings )


The tendency of the entropy of isolated to increase is considered to be directly linked to the direction of the flow of time. This raises the question whether a quantitative relation can be established such that a time interval can be measured by measuring entropy change and vice versa. The existence or absence of such a link also calls for further consideration of the nature of time. Prigogine argued that the true nature of time can only be discovered by investigating this phenomenon using scientific and philosophical methods. If this is true, then ongoing debates in the metaphysics of time and progress in the scientific study of entropy can be brought together to shed light on this fascinating but elusive concept. In this paper, starting from my recent modified definition of entropy change as a non-dimensional measure of energy change, a direct link between entropy and time duration is presented. It draws from steady energy transfer processes such as heat transfer and shows that a measure of time can be found to be associated with a measure of entropy change. In the absence of other driving forces, the passage of time in an isolated system can therefore be tracked with a well calibrated entropy change meter. When other forces are allowed to interfere and there is no external point from which the system can be considered to be isolated, then the measure of time is non-monotonous since an isolated system can be restored to an earlier state of non-equilibrium.


arrow of time, entropy increase principle, heat transfer, non-equilibrium isolated systems

Cite this article as

Akih-Kumgeh, B. Beyond the arrow of time: can there be a relation between measurement of entropy and time?. In Proceedings of the 4th International Electronic Conference on Entropy and Its Applications, 21 November–1 December 2017; Sciforum Electronic Conference Series, Vol. 4, 2017 ; doi:10.3390/ecea-4-05018

Author biographies

Ben Akih-Kumgeh
Dr. Ben Akih is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University. He conducts research and teaches courses in the area of Thermodynamics and Combustion. His research is focused on understanding and modeling the combustion properties of conventional and emerging fuels with the aim of enabling the design and control of cleaner and more efficient combustion systems.

Comments on Beyond the arrow of time: can there be a relation between measurement of entropy and time?