Quantum Aging
Copyright 2016 by J.E. Kronenfeld
A pair of dimes and one thick nickel
Always equal just two bits.
But Time may prove so much more fickle
Slipping forth in starts and fits.
Time:
An abstract passage of unseen moments.
With no sense of its primordial element
We can only measure recurrent intervals of its passage
And Clocks are our windows into Time's passage, into Time itself
Moon and stars rhythmically rise and fall measuring the
incremental passage of days and years. Of Time.
Sand and water drop smoothly through holes in bowls measuring
the incremental passage of hours and minutes. Of Time.
Molecules and atoms harmonically oscillate measuring the
incremental passage of micro's and nano's. Of Time.
Smoothly changing, time continues to rumble past us
As we stand on a station platform on a very foggy night.
We sense that Something seems to rush, unseen, past us with an unstoppable force
But what it is and what it holds are hidden by the fog.
Age:
Our measure of Time's passage
More like Gould's punctuated equilibrium than Hutton's gradualism
Tectonic plates straining for eons, motionless, until suddenly snapping in Earth-shaking, Earth-moving jumps.
Age stumbles along in fits and starts:
One day we are eighteen.
One month we are eighteen.
One year we are eighteen
And the next year and the next year; age unchanging
From eighteen to forty to seventy.
We age in uneven intervals, as measured by the plodding regularity of Time.
We age asynchronously with Time and Time drifts independent of us
But the Second Law constrains us both
The entropy of Time grows unstoppably to fill the universe
And the entropy of age expands relentlessly until its bubble bursts
A pair of dimes and one thick nickel
Always equal just two bits.
But Time may prove so much more fickle
Slipping forth in starts and fits.