A dominant feature of our ordinary experience of the world is a sense of irreversible change: things lose form, people grow old, energy dissipates. On the other hand, a major conceptual scheme we use to describe the natural world, molecular dynamics, has reversibility at its core. The need to harmonize conceptual schemes and experience leads to several questions, one of which is the focus of this book. How does irreversibility at the macroscopic level emerge from the reversibility that prevails at the molecular level? Attempts to explain the emergence have emphasized probability, and assigned different probabilities to the forward and reversed directions of processes so that one direction is far more probable than the other. The conclu- sion is promising, but the reasons for it have been obscure. In many cases the aim has been to find an explana- tion in the nature of probability itself. Reactions to that have been divided: some think the aim is justified while others think it is absurd.
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