Origins of Time's Arrow

Origins of Time's Arrow

Monday, October 15, 2007 - Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the String Theory, Astrophysics, and Cosmology Discussion Group, Columbia University Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics (ISCAP), Perimeter Institute, and UNC Chapel Hill


This conference will involve a concentrated focus of leading world experts from a wide range of perspectives on one of the most outstanding issues in cosmology and theoretical physics - why time unfolds with a definite orientation even though the underlying laws are time reversal invariant.

The meeting is first in a series aimed at stimulating progress on outstanding topics in theoretical physics.


Monday, October 15

8:45am - 9:00am
Welcoming Remarks by Brian Greene

9:00am - 9:45am
The Emergent Nature of Time and the Complex Numbers in Quantum Cosmology
Gary Gibbons, Cambridge

9:45am - 10:30am
Physics and Chance
David Albert, Columbia University

10:30am - 11:00am
Coffee Break

11:00am - 11:45am
Why Did The Universe Start In Such An Extraordinarly Ordered State?
Laura Mersini-Houghton, UNC-Chapel Hill

11:45am - 12:30pm
The Arrow of Time and Cosmic Inflation
Andreas Albrecht, UC Davis

12:30pm - 2:00pm

2:00pm - 2:45pm
The Origin of Time and Complexity: Why Was the Entropy So Low, and Why Wasn't It Even Lower?
Max Tegmark, MIT

2:45pm - 3:30pm
Time as a Fundamental, Non-emergent, Aspect of Reality
Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute

3:30pm - 4:00pm
Coffee Break

4:00pm - 4:45pm
Holographic Cosmology and the Arrow of Time
Tom Banks, Rutgers and UC Santa Cruz

4:45pm - 5:30pm
Black Hole Constraints on the Particle Species
Gia Dvali, New York University

6:00pm - 7:00pm

7:00pm - 9:00pm
Panel Discussion

Tuesday, October 16

9:00am - 9:45am
Time's Arrow and the Strength of Inflation
Leonard Parker, UW Milwaukee

9:45am - 10:30am
Quantum Mechanics with Real Clocks
Jorge Pullin, Louisiana State University

10:30am - 11:00am
Coffee Break

11:00am - 11:45am
The Arrow of Time and the Initial Conditions of the Universe
Robert M. Wald, Chicago

11:45am - 12:30pm
Time Evolution and Dimension in String Theory
Eva Silverstein, Stanford University

12:30pm - 2:00pm

2:00pm - 2:45pm
String Theory Insights into the Arrow of Time
Gary Horowitz, UC Santa Barbara

2:45pm - 3:30pm
Hidden Assumptions and Unaddressed Problems of Time Asymmetry
Paul Davies, Arizona State University

3:30pm - 3:50pm
Phantom Bounce
Katie Freese, University of Michigan

3:50 pm - 4:00 pm
Closing Remarks

Scientific Organizing Committee

  • Brian Greene (Columbia University)
  • Justin Khoury (Perimeter Institute)
  • Laura Mersini-Houghton (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)


  • National Science Foundation
  • Perimeter Institute
  • Bahnson Fund
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Columbia University Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics (ISCAP)
  • Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi)

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

The New York Academy of Sciences

7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor
New York, NY 10007-2157

Click here for directions.

Hotels Near 7 World Trade Center

Recommended partner hotel:

Club Quarters, Wall Street

52 William Street (Between Wall & Pine Streets)
New York, NY 10005
Phone: (212) 269-6400

Located in the center of historical New York, Club Quarters, at 52 William Street (between Pine & Wall Streets), is just a short walk to our location. The New York Academy of Sciences is a part of the Club Quarters network. Please feel free to make accommodations on-line to save significantly on hotel costs.

Password: NYAS

Other hotels located near 7 WTC:

Embassy Suites Hotel


Millenium Hilton


Marriott Financial Center


Best Western Seaport Inn


Eurostars Wall Street Hotel


Wall Street District Hotel


Wall Street Inn


Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park