Record and irreversibility in elementary particle physics

G. J. Stavenga*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The fundamental aspect of measurement, that a measurement always results in a record, is analysed. Recording implies irreversibility and entropy production in the combined system of instrument and object. In elementary particle physics the record itself is all important, and therefore the entropy production due to measurement, hitherto neglected in fundamental theories, is essential. The conjecture is advanced that, just as in relativity the signal is of prime importance and in quantum theory the measuring interaction is fundamental, this (third) aspect of measurement will play a central role in a new fundamental theory of elementary particles. Some basic notions of this new theory are proposed. The stable particle, for example, can be conceived of as a steady state of an open system, characterized by minimal entropy production. Finally the meaning of irreversibility on the micro-level of elementary particles is discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-97
    Number of pages9
    JournalSpeculations in science and technology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1982

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