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“Time is relative, its only value is given by what we do while it is passing” Albert Einstein

We are facing very hot days lately; I’ve been wondering for a while “what will I be talking about in my next article for Papillon?”. I certainly didn’t start by talking about the climate because I wanted to talk about the weather (if anything, I’ll give this the responsibility of the issues I decided to address, because we know “the heat goes to the head”); however on the Weather (not atmospheric) and the Heat (not only that of the sun) I will try to say something. Let’s venture into these strange plots!

I therefore confess that I made bizarre parallels between one of my summer readings “The Order of Time” by Carlo Rovelli and heat understood in several meanings.

I will try to explain myself, aware that I am entering a difficult and fascinating world.

“Time” is a concept that very often, in our daily lives, we use to indicate many things; we talk about time by asking ourselves: “how much time is left, how long did it take us to do something, do we do something in the right time, has the time come to.. ?”. We give time a value around which our whole life seems to revolve, our choices, the meaning of events, expectations of us and of others, past events and the future.

With an interesting play on words (which attributes different meanings to the same term) physics not only describes how things evolve over time but also how things evolve over time and how times evolve.

Aristotle was the first to question Time and came to the conclusion that this was the measure of change; this statement is in total opposition to that of Newton who claims instead that Time flows even when nothing changes. Then Einstein said they were both right and so I kept trying to understand.

I have to admit, however, that I would slip into something that doesn’t belong to me if I tried to add anything else; so here Clausius comes to my aid who, speaking of Time, enunciates the only law of physics that distinguishes the past from the future: heat cannot pass spontaneously from a cold to a hot body; only where there is heat does the distinction exist between past and future?

Here you are! It must be in this passage that, thinking of the Weather, in these hot days, I must have given particular importance to the term “heat”.

Does Heat introduce us to the concept of irreversibility of time, or rather the impossibility of reversing time? Whenever a difference between past and future manifests itself, Heat is involved. For example, if I’m eating a black cherry popsicle and it falls to the ground, not only will it probably crumble into several parts, but the heat will transform it from a solid state to a liquid without any possibility of spontaneously reversing the process.

That is, an irreversible transformation occurs caused by heat, a process to which Clausius gives the name of Entropy, which in a certain sense therefore indicates the directionality of Time and its irreversibility.

What has been said is true for the example given but it is different if you think that a bottle of water removed and repositioned in the freezer changes from liquid to solid state several times depending on how many times I repeat the action. So what interferes with this process? To help, a professor friend of mine tells me: “external intervention changes everything! As with gravity! An object spontaneously falls from the table if you push it down, but if you insert your hand between the object and the floor, the process interrupt and change!”

I was almost certain that everything said so far was intended to lead me here to say that a transformation occurs through heat and is irreversible. I’m certainly not talking about the black cherry popsicle; It fascinates me to bring all these beautiful and intelligent physical laws back to the human mind by finding or trying to make some connections.

Starting from the concept of Time, also thinking of many things written on this blog by me and others (dealing with different topics), I feel like saying that each of us has our own for the stages of his life, that not everything must necessarily be established by laws and rules. More often than not, Time can acquire the value that each of us attributes to it and it often happens that two hours fly by like two minutes and vice versa. So, how measurable is it really if we think about the value it has or that we give it in our lives? And above all… what about the unique human perception that time is truly irreversible?

Of course it is necessary to have a healthy relationship with reality: I have to be temporally oriented, respect working hours, appointments. I need to control it rationally in order to live adequately within society. But which of us controls or takes into account the time we spend with our loved one making love? If that happens, something is wrong, right!?

Followed by: Transformation and Heat remind me of the ability of human beings to change their thinking and to do so to feel good thanks to their own affection and that of those around them. Can I use Heat and Affection as synonyms?

If I can do it, I think that what allows the icicle to melt and not return solid and cold (the heat), is the same thing that allows, in the same way, the human being to “melt” and let go (the affectivity).

There are many things that came to my mind while writing this article and I realize that all this has led me elsewhere than the initial idea.

I concluded with a thought: human beings are born with the certainty that someone will love them, warm them up and take care of them. If this doesn’t happen he will have an operation, caused by an external intervention (who takes care of him), which will lead him to “close himself off”, to feel disappointment and not feel that love.

But is this whole process irreversible? I would say absolutely not! If the memory of that hope that we felt as soon as we were born remains within us, we will continue to seek for the rest of our lives that external intervention that will allow us to change and transform ourselves again and again.

Can we therefore say that it is thanks to our memory, to an internal drive, that we can reverse our Time and thanks to this write the story of our life and change things, or try to do it when necessary and possible?

Perhaps the heat of these days has really gone to my head, as I mentioned at the beginning. Maybe!

I wanted to share these pindaric flights with you. If someone who understands the topics covered more than me wants to help me understand them better or make more appropriate connections, don’t hesitate. The comparison is nice.

Have a good, hot, summer everyone.

(Thanks to Professor Valerio Guido, friend, mathematician and physics enthusiast who supported and put up with me)

Valeria Verna



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Credits by: Ron Lach
“Time is relative, its only value is given by what we do while it is passing” Albert Einstein