(Symmetry-Breaking, Matter + Entropy (dissipative systems)) > Einstein’s quest for perfect geometric truth. Prigogine won the Nobel Prize for this in 1977.
‘While Einstein dreamt of a geometry capable of unifying the physical laws and of tracing back the set of physical–chemical processes to this basic geometrical truth, allowing us to conceive of the indissoluble unity of space-time and matter, today we know, thanks to the important theoretical contributions offered by Prigogine and others scholars at the level of the science of dissipative processes that produce entropy (the physics of dissipative systems) and of the science of complexity, that such a unity does not mean equivalence. In the perspective offered by the Russian scholar since the late 1970s, the creation of entropy-bearing matter cannot be traced back to a reversible phenomenon any more than the excited quantum atom can be traced back to mechanics. In this perspective, it is the very production of entropy that constitutes the real “price” of the passage to the existence of our universe and that constitutes, therefore, the difference between this material universe and an empty one. The possibility of defining such a difference and the passage to existence has recently led to some attempts to generalize Einstein’s equations, allowing us to describe an irreversible process of the creation of matter. Thus, according to the Brussels school, one can substitute for the initial singularity sustained by standard model, an instability that leads to a simultaneous creation of the matter and entropy of the universe. If Einstein’s dream conceived becoming as an obstacle for physics and the arrow of time (symbol of the one-directional nature of time that found no “abode” in the physics of the early twentieth century) as an illusion to be overcome, today becoming would seem to irrupt precisely where this dream had found its most evident expression, that is to say, in the symmetry established by general relativity between matter and space-time. The initial instability, in agreement with Prigogine, makes of the universe the product of a breakage of symmetry between space-time, on the one hand, and matter, on the other, placing moreover the birth of the material universe under the sign of a radical irreversibility: the laceration of the uniform fabric of space-time from which matter and entropy are simultaneously and constantly generated. Starting from some studies done mainly at the level of the thermodynamics of nonequilibrium and in virtue of some very recent experiments of particle physics that would show the existence of the arrow of time, the radical conceptual transformation concerning temporal irreversibility has gradually penetrated into almost every level of physics, today allowing us to glimpse the possibility of a new coherence, articulated around that becoming that the physics of yesterday interpreted as an obstacle and which instead Bergson considered to be that “whole of the same nature of the Self” that can be grasped through an “ever more complete deepening in oneself”. ‘
from: The Concept of Time in Early Twentieth-Century Philosophy