Farshi, F. H. ; De Bianchi, S. (2022), Foundations of Physics 52, 63


In this work we present an epistemic analysis of time phenomenon using the mathematical machinery of information theory and modular theory. By adopting limited commitment to the ontology of time evolution, and instead by mainly relying on the information that is in principle accessible to the observer, we find that the most primary aspect of the temporal experience, the perceived distinctiveness across the states of the world, emerges as a purely epistemic function. By analyzing the mathematical properties of this epistemic function, we interpret it to be in principle insensitive to any ontic state of the world, which leads to the conclusion that the observer is subject to temporal experience irrespective of whether the underlying state of the world is dynamical or invariant. On the ground of the presented analysis, we also provide a solution to the conceptual challenge of non-equilibrium phenomena that faces the thermal time hypothesis.



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