The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

The End of Entropy

Very few people are willing to take the second law of Thermodynamics as a primitive law of the universe. Explicitly or implicitly, we don't seem happy with this law that states an inequality. Somehow it must be a side effect of some other phenomenon.

Thomas Gold (among others) believes that the second law follows the direction of the universe: entropy increases when the universe expands, it decreases when the universe contracts (or, equivalently, when Time flows backwards). The second law would simply be an effect of the expansion or contraction. In that case the universe might be cyclic.

Roger Penrose has also investigated the mystery of entropy. A gravitational effect results in two dual phenomena: a change in shape and a change in volume of space-time. Consequently, Penrose separates the curvature tensor in two components: the Ricci tensor (named after the Italian mathematician Gregorio Ricci who founded the theory of tensors) and the Weyl tensor (named after the German mathematician Hermann Weyl, a close associate of Einstein's). The Weyl tensor measures the change in shape, and, in a sense, the gravitational field, whereas the Ricci tensor measures the change in volume, and, in a sense, the density of matter.  The Weyl tensor measures a "tidal" effect and the Ricci tensor measures an effect of volume reduction. The Ricci tensor is zero in empty space, it is infinite in a singularity. The Weyl tensor is zero in the initial singularity of the Big Bang, but infinite at the final singularity of the Big Crunch. Penrose showed that entropy follows the Weyl tensor and the Weyl tensor may hide the puzzling origin of the second law of Thermodynamics.


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