AUTHOR='t Hooft Gerard
TITLE=Time, the Arrow of Time, and Quantum Mechanics
JOURNAL=Frontiers in Physics
VOLUME=6
YEAR=2018
PAGES=81
URL=https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphy.2018.00081
DOI=10.3389/fphy.2018.00081
ISSN=2296-424X
ABSTRACT=It is brought forward that viable theories of the physical world that have no variable at all that can play the role of time, do not exist; some notion of time is one of the very first ingredients a candidate theory should possess. Almost by definition, time has an arrow. In contrast, time reversibility, or even the possibility to run the equations of motion backwards in time, is not at all a primary requirement. This means that the direction of the arrow of time may well be uniquely defined in the theory, even locally. It is explained that a rigorous definition of time, as well as a formulation of the causality and locality concepts, can only be given when one has a model for the physical phenomena described. The only viable causality condition is one that is symmetric under time reversal. We explain these statements in terms of the author's favored deterministic cellular automaton interpretation of quantum mechanics, also to be referred to as “vector space analysis,” and expand on these ideas. It is also summarized how our more rigorous causality condition affects Bell's theorems. What distinguishes quantum systems from classical ones is our fundamental inability to control the microscopic details of the initial state when phenomena are studied in the light of some theoretical model.