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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2004, Issue 1, Pages 155-168

Microscopic irreversibility

Department of Mathematics, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309-0395, CO, USA

Received 16 October 2003

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


First, I will recount the substance of several important conversations I had with Ilya Prigogine over the years. There is no doubt in my mind that Professor Prigogine firmly believed in the underlying stochasticity of the universe. Second, I will summarize my curiosity about the principle of detailed balance. In my opinion, so far it has always been put in by hand. Third, I will advance my own theory of microscopic irreversibility, that is, irreversibility at the quantum level. This involves new concepts of probability preference and probability violation. A manifestation of this irreversibility may be seen during emission of bound-free photons during field-matter interactions. Entropy increase is tied to radiation increase, and the notion of heat bath becomes light bath.