# Global emergent time, how does Tomita flow work?

by marcus
Tags: emergent, flow, global, time, tomita, work
 Astronomy Sci Advisor PF Gold P: 22,803 ...Since we're on a new page, I'll bring forward part of post #20 giving a general summary of Tomita flow. Links will come later. Technically a C*-algebra is an abstract generalization of a von Neumann operator algebra. Axiomatizing the observable algebra allows getting rid of the Hilbert space and a quantum state becomes a positive functional ω:M→ℂ, on the abstract algebra M. Given a state functional ω on M, Gelfand and friends tell us how to construe M as a hilbertspace HM. We were not given a hilbertspace to start with, M was given to us as an abstract algebra. But anytime we need to we can call up a hilbertspace that M ACTS ON as operators. The abstract star operation on M becomes a conjugate linear transformation S: HM → HM defined on Gelfand's hilbertspace. This is something new, so things begin to happen. Because HM has an inner product, we know what the ADJOINT of S is. Call the adjoint S*, defined using the inner product, by ⟨S*X, Y⟩ = ⟨X, SY⟩. The operator product of S* with S is positive and self-adjoint. Such an operator can be raised to complex powers (think of diagonalizing a matrix and raising the eigenvalues.) In particular the operator S*S can be raised to the power i. Tomita now defines a UNITARY operator Q = (S* S)i on the (Gelfand) hilbertspace HM. Real powers of Tomita's unitary Q correspond to the passage of an observer-independent world time. viewed as shifting measurements around amongst themselves. The Tomita flow can be considered as a map M → M from earlier measurements to later ones, defined by A → Qt A Q-t This can be thought of as taking a measurement A in M to a corresponding measurement made t units of time later. To take an example, we can think of the Tomita flow converting a measurement A into one made, say, 200 years later (i.e. Q200 years A Q-200 years) this way: "The later measurement is what you get if you undo 200 years of change, perform the earlier measurement, and then restore 200 years of change." Here "change" means Qt, the Tomita unitary raised to a real number power. The exponent t would be 200 years expressed in natural (Planck) time units. T-time is the logarithm of change to the base Q. When specific cases are considered and the arithmetic is done, the units of T-flow time turn out to be Planckian natural time units. Technically this is called an "automorphism" of the algebra M, and letting t range along the real line ℝ we get a "one-parameter group of automorphisms" defined on M. A flow for short.
P: 5,634
Marcus: Last question on 'Ashtekar time'.....

 I'm not sure what the relevance of Ashtekar paper is. His work is always relevant and worth looking over.But it is not specifically about time---the topic here.
When you answered an atyy question in this thread and said LQC of Ashtekar et al DOES use thermal time, I thought it likely WAS significant....Ashtekar seems to think so:

From the November paper:

 ....one can regard the background scalar ﬁeld φ as a relational time variable with respect to which physical observables evolve. This is a new conceptual element, made necessary by quantum gravity considerations.
This was the first time I have ever read such a statement and am still trying to digest it. Is this significant or more a cop out?? Is this field even an observable??

Also, thanks for posting the Unfinished Revolution link.....we discussed that sometime ago and I am even more impressed rereading it now when I understand a [little] bit more...thanks to you and others here....
Astronomy
PF Gold
P: 22,803
 Quote by Naty1 ...When you answered an atyy question in this thread and said LQC of Ashtekar et al DOES use thermal time, I thought it likely WAS significant....
I think you drew the correct conclusion that T-time IS significant. But what you read from me probably wasn't clearly worded enough.
Also I'm no great authority on this T-time business, just beginning to get used to it. You realize that thermal time is NOT THE SAME as classical Friedmann model cosmology time. THEY JUST HAPPEN TO AGREE, which is very nice, but they are DEFINED DIFFERENTLY.

Likewise in conventional LQC going back on the order of 10 years Ashtekar and others have been using a scalar field as a relational clock. I regret to say I can't explain how this works, maybe later today, but that is NOT THE SAME as thermal time!!! It just happens to agree with classical Friedmann model time within a few Planck time units after the bounce, when the classical model becomes reliable.

And therefore it also agrees with thermal time.

You can have three things which mathematically are defined differently arising from different mathematical setups but which nevertheless give the same numbers where they overlap.

There will be places where they don't overlap because one or the other is not defined---the formal setup that it is based on and depends on for its definition fails for some reason. Like Friedmann time is real good back to near the start of expansion but then it blows up.
So Ashtekar has to patch it by putting some simple matter into the picture---his "scalar field". In a vague hand wavy way that is like putting an observer in who is somehow able to survive the bounce.

So they graft different ideas of time together to make a workable continuous one. And the fact that there is agreement on the overlap makes one confident that the definitions are right.

Thermal time, or Tomita time, is a comparatively new one for me. It is not the same. You need a different setup (the star algebra) which so-far Ashtekar is not using to do cosmology. But when you make the setups correspond---make enough assumptions to bridge between the different models of the world---then apparently you get agreement! I haven't gone thru all the steps so I have to take this partly on faith.

T-time is much more general. It is not limited to Friedmann cosmology or LQC. But when you make it apply to them as a special case then apparently it checks out. Which is really good, otherwise I probably wouldn't be so interested. It's nice to have a better machine but you want that machine to give the same answers you are used to in the old familiar situations, so you think maybe you can trust what it says in some new unfamiliar ones.

 Also, thanks for posting the Unfinished Revolution link.....we discussed that sometime ago and I am even more impressed rereading it now when I understand a [little] bit more..
Great! I had the same experience! Several times I've come back to that brief argument on page 4 of http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0604045 , just those 3 paragraphs, and each time it has meant more to me. Like you, each time I understand more of the context and it means more. Also as you said, thanks in part to others contributing to this thread and similar ones.
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Marcus:
 Likewise in conventional LQC going back on the order of 10 years Ashtekar and others have been using a scalar field as a relational clock. I regret to say I can't explain how this works, maybe later today, but that is NOT THE SAME as thermal time!!!
AHA!!! No wonder I could not figure out how they were related....

great explanations in the prior post.....thanks!
P: 5,634
Physics "TRASH TALK' :

from: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1007.4094v2.pdf pg 21

Modular non-commutative geometry in physics

 Despite the fact that most, of the literature on non-commutative geometry is actually heavily motivated or directly inspired by physics (Heisenberg quantum mechanics, standard model, renormalization in perturbative quantum field theory, deformation quantization, just to mention a few) and the strong interest shared by theoretical physics for this mathematical subject, when compared to the outstanding structural achievements of Tomita–Takesaki modular theory in quantum statistical mechanics and algebraic quantum field theory, the fundamental relevance of non-commutative geometry for the foundations of physics looks still quite weak and disputable.
Whoaaaaaa, dudes...a little feud here??? "still" ????? A bit overstated maybe?? or not??

///////////////////////////
But man oh man was I relieved when I read the following...because so far reading on Tomita Time I have been thinking to myself, "How did these guys EVER tie all this together" .....and as you can see, it took a number of people, a number of approaches, and some time. It's not as if someone started with a grand vision...

 The first indirect indications of the existence of a deep connection between (equilibrium) statistical mechanics (and hence modular theory [and Tomita time#]), quantum field theory and gravity (that, after A. Einstein’s theory of general relativity, essentially means geometry of four-dimensional Lorentzian manifolds) came, after J. Bardeen, B. Carter, S. Hawking results on black hole laws, from the discovery of entropy of black holes by J. Bekenstein [20, 21], black holes’ thermal radiation by S. Hawking and the vacuum thermalization ef fect by W. Unruh . # My comment in parenthesis [] .. The point here is the existence of a correspondence between modular theory and von Neumann algebras on one side and Poisson geometry of classical systems on the other. The existence of an interplay between general relativity, gravitation and thermodynamics, has been reinforced by the important work of T. Jacobson that obtained for the first time a thermodynamical derivation of Einstein equations from the equivalence principle. This work has been further expanded, among several authors, by T. Padmanaban. This line of thoughts, has recently been exploited in order to infer that, being of thermodynamical origin, gravitation (contrary to electromagnetism and other subnuclear forces) cannot possibly be a fundamental force of nature and hence should not be subjected to quantization, but explained as a macroscopic phenomenon emergent from a different theory of fundamental degrees of freedom (usually strings) and after the recent appearence of E. Verlinde e-print on the interpretation of Newtonian gravity as an entropic force has led to a fantastic proliferation of research papers
So now it appears Gravity [relativity] AND time find their origins in thermodynamics!!
Astronomy
PF Gold
P: 22,803
 Quote by Naty1 Physics "TRASH TALK' : Marcus I wondered what you thought about this: from: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1007.4094v2.pdf pg 21 Modular non-commutative geometry in physics
I'll requote the passage manually without using the quote "button" so it does not go away so easily--and try to interpret. I'm actually still trying to understand this. Modular theory (Tomita flow etc) does use non-commutative algebra but not necessarily Connes NCG. It uses the C* format (M,ω) where for example the star algebra can be about a quantum field on a manifold space-time geometry. What Bertozzini and Conti are pointing out is that non-commutative geometry of the kind Connes has developed seems less utilized in physics than one might expect given the circumstances they point to. I think that's what they're saying.

As Bertozzini Conti Lewkee.. describe it, C* algebra approach is comparatively widely used and successful. But the specific Alain Connes approach which involves a "spectral triple" and dirac operator and special extra axioms has NOT lived up to expectations so far, so to speak. This could simply be because it is wrong (a possible C* approach to geometry but not the right one) or because the physicists have been slow to take to it, or it might need some more time to grow on them.

I don't see them as assigning blame for Connes NCG underutilization, but more simply pointing out an opportunity, some research for somebody to do. I could easily be wrong--this is just the message I get.

===quote Bertozzini Conti Lewkee.. page 21===
5.3 Modular non-commutative geometry in physics
Despite the fact that most, of the literature on non-commutative geometry is actually heavily motivated or directly inspired by physics (Heisenberg quantum mechanics, standard model, renormalization in perturbative quantum field theory, deformation quantization, just to mention a few) and the strong interest shared by theoretical physics for this mathematical subject, when compared to the outstanding structural achievements of Tomita–Takesaki modular theory in quantum statistical mechanics and algebraic quantum field theory, the fundamental relevance of non-commutative geometry for the foundations of physics looks still quite weak and disputable. In this subsection rather than discussing the vast panorama of applications of non-commutative geometry to physics and model building (see the book by A. Connes, M. Marcolli [87] for a recent very complete coverage of the physics applications of non-commutative geometry and, for a really pedestrian list of references, our companion survey paper [30]), we proceed to describe the very few available instances and hints of a direct applicability of modular non-commutative ideas (such as semi-finite and modular spectral triples, phase-spaces etc.) to physics.
===endquote===
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so I tried to do some checking....without success...

The three Wikipedia links which follow have a lot of mathematical information for anyone interested, but too technical for me....

Too technical for me to be able to figure out how,for example, C* [Tomita] and W* [von Neumann] are different as applied to physical systems, and the mathematical terminology is also not so easy to understand ...

Von Neumann algebra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann_algebra

C* Algebra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert_C*-module

Hilbert C* Module
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert_C*-module

On a more basic level, here are some notes I made which may help introduce some of the concepts of thermal time to those, who like me, are new to the subject:

Thermal Time [Wikipedia]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehrenfest-Tolman_effect

 The Ehrenfest–Tolman effect (also known as the Tolman–Ehrenfest effect), created by Richard C. Tolman and Paul Ehrenfest, argues that temperature in space at thermal equilibrium varies with the spacetime curvature. Specifically, it depends on the spacetime metric…….This relationship leads to the concept of thermal time which has been considered as a possible basis for a fully general-relativistic thermodynamics. It has been shown that the Tolman–Ehrenfest effect can be derived by applying the equivalence principle to the concept that temperature is the rate of thermal time with respect to proper time.
Talk by Matteo Smerlak:

The Tolman effect shows that in the presence of a stationary gravitational field temperature is not homogeneous at equilibrium…
T[x] is proportional to 1/[root{g(oo)[x]}] in stationary coordinates.

Is proportional to 1/c sqd so is a very small effect……the meaning of ‘thermal equilibrium’ is not obvious….typical descriptions.... thermodynamically, information, KMS or stochastically IGNORE GRAVITY….non relativistically, at equilibrium,

thermal time = B x mechanical time…

Where B is temperature….and mechanical time is local time in GR, metric dependent….proper time…thermal time is the flow in phase space….

Tomita–Takesaki modular theory
Tomita Time…… Connes and Rovelli

a global emergent time, [Marcus]
Hypothesis: the origin of physical time ﬂow is thermodynamical,

Our postulate: that thermal time state deﬁnes the physical time,

an evolution of an external time parameter in generally co-variant theories,

the notion of time depends on the state [of] the system in a general co-variant context,

extending time ﬂow to generally co-variant theories depends on the thermal state of the system,

time ﬂow is determined by the thermal state.
 Astronomy Sci Advisor PF Gold P: 22,803 Naty, thanks for posting your notes on the (first 15 minutes) of Matteo Smerlak's talk http://vimeo.com/33363491 It's an outstanding talk! and it is helpful to have some notes that one can glance at as a reminder of what he was covering. I would be really happy if Jorge Pullin, who organizes the online seminar ILQGS would give the final timeslot (7 May) of this semester to a thermal time talk! Perhaps Matteo Smerlak could give the talk. Rovelli seems to be stepping back these days to give center stage to younger researchers. He could of course present the seminar on T-time himself but maybe he wants to the next generation theorists to be in the limelight---I don't understand any of that, really. But one way or another, Tomita flow time is a really important idea. It is the only observer-independent time that we have in full GR, the quantum version. I don't mean when there is a prior fixed curved space-time, I mean the full dynamical geometry and matter. There is no other way to do fully general covariant statistical mechanics, which requires some kind of time. Or so I think anyway. So it is clear to me how I wish Jorge should allocate that last timeslot. http://relativity.phys.lsu.edu/ilqgs/schedulesp13.html DATE Seminar Title Speaker Institution Jan 29 Entanglement in loop quantum gravity Eugenio Bianchi Perimeter Institute Feb 12 Dynamical chaos and the volume gap Hal Haggard CPT Marseille Feb 26 Gravity electroweak unification Stephon Alexander Haverford College Mar 12 Quantum reduced loop gravity E.Alesci/F.Cianfrani Univ. Erlangen Mar 26 Bianchi I LQC Brajesh Gupt LSU Apr 9 TBA Karim Noui Univ Tours Apr 23 TBA Martin Bojowald Penn State May 7 Jorge please invite Smerlak to talk on thermal time
 P: 165 I agree that the topic of "Thermal Time" is important. Anything that clarifies the pedigree of old Father Time is fascinating. Especially when it is claimed to be "observer-independent", as we now think clock-time isn't; a surprise that was in the end forced on us by observation, rather than just the beauty of relativistic reasoning. I suppose that the measured speed of light is a good accepted example of something that is truly "observer-independent". The local laws of physics may provide a better, more general example. In the absence of observed examples of an invariant time, consider a common macroscopic attribute which, like Time, we have in a sense created out of the whole cloth of ordinary experience, namely Temperature. To me it looks like the quintessential "thermal" attribute of a thermodynamic system. It is emergent in a statistical sense and can be simply defined for a classical system (from the distribution of velocities of gas atoms) or for a quantum mechanical system (from the distribution of energy among its states). Is measured temperature "observer-independent"? I suspect not. Temperature might vary from one observer to another; like the black body radiation escaping from a cavity in a moving body, which I think would be measured differently by relatively moving observers. Or by observers situated at different gravitational potentials. If temperature is not "observer-independent", then is "Thermal" a good choice for qualifying something that is claimed to be truly invariant? (Just quibbling.)
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 Is measured temperature "observer-independent"? I suspect not. Temperature might vary from one observer to another; like the black body radiation escaping from a cavity in a moving body, which I think would be measured differently by relatively moving observers. Or by observers situated at different gravitational potentials.
According to Bill Unruh, you are correct!! [and, analogously, Hawking relative to HAwking radiation].

 If temperature is not "observer-independent", then is "Thermal" a good choice for qualifying something that is claimed to be truly invariant? (Just quibbling.)
I don't think it's a quibble....but I do not think the scalar field utilized as a clock falls
prey to observer dependency....
Astronomy
PF Gold
P: 22,803
 Quote by Paulibus I agree that the topic of "Thermal Time" is important. Anything that clarifies the pedigree of old Father Time is fascinating. Especially when it is claimed to be "observer-independent",... Is measured temperature "observer-independent"? I suspect not. ... If temperature is not "observer-independent", then is "Thermal" a good choice for qualifying something that is claimed to be truly invariant? (Just quibbling.)
Paulibus and Naty, thanks for interesting comments! I think the above is a valid point about NOMENCLATURE (not necessarily physics).

The idea of a heat bath breaks Lorentz invariance. There is a preferred frame in which the bath is not moving. I think in fact temperature is not "observer-independent". It would be wise to call T-time by some other name than "thermal". After all it is really TOMITA FLOW TIME. And the interesting thing about Tomita flow time (which is what I mean by T-time) is precisely that it is observer independent.
 Astronomy Sci Advisor PF Gold P: 22,803 It is really important for us to understand the construction of the Tomita flow, based on the pair (M,ω). You start with a star algebra and a state, the state representing what we think we know about the world---correlations among measurements based on our guesses as to the physics equations that govern them and on our accumulated data. The amazing thing is that this gives a time flow---T-time. ===================== What I have been wondering about lately is how LQG will be formulated in star-algebra terms. We have to have some way to get from spin networks to C*algebras. there is a recognized way to get from directed graphs to C*algebras, which could inspire ideas, but by itself this is not enough. Directed graphs are not enough. Today there appeared a nice paper by Matilde Marcolli (the dazzling Caltech math professor and co-author with Alain Connes). It claims to GENERALIZE the "spin network" to the "gauge network" and then to present a procedure to get from "gauge network" to star algebra. I have the highest regard for Marcolli so am ready to take a good bit on faith here. Notice that whereas in LQG it is the spin networks that form an orthonormal basis for the LQG Hilbert space, here, in Marcolli's generalization it is the gauge networks that form an orthonormal basis for the Hilbert space. They play an analogous role. http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.3480 Gauge networks in noncommutative geometry Matilde Marcolli, Walter D. van Suijlekom (Submitted on 15 Jan 2013) We introduce gauge networks as generalizations of spin networks and lattice gauge fields to almost-commutative manifolds. The configuration space of quiver representations (modulo equivalence) in the category of finite spectral triples is studied; gauge networks appear as an orthonormal basis in a corresponding Hilbert space. We give many examples of gauge networks, also beyond the well-known spin network examples. We find a Hamiltonian operator on this Hilbert space, inducing a time evolution on the C*-algebra of gauge network correspondences. ... http://www.its.caltech.edu/~matilde/ http://www.math.ru.nl/~waltervs/index.php?page=home (Walter Daniel van Suijlekom b. 1978, dual career as professional musician, interesting. PhD 2005 at SISSA Trieste. Since 2007 postdoc at Nijmegen, same place as Renate Loll. Has taught some interesting courses at Nijmegen including NCG, i.e. spectral geometry.)
 Sci Advisor HW Helper P: 1,322 Presumably if Tomita time is going to be useful, it should agree with usual notions in the right limit. Has it been checked that this time gives the usual global time evolution in, for example, asymptotically AdS spaces? Also, we know that the Cauchy problem is not well posed in AdS because of the need for boundary conditions. Is this freedom apparent in Tomita time? Are there other freedoms?
Astronomy
PF Gold
P: 22,803
 Quote by Physics Monkey Presumably if Tomita time is going to be useful, it should agree with usual notions in the right limit. Has it been checked that this time gives the usual global time evolution in, for example, asymptotically AdS spaces? ...
It gives the right limit in several interesting cases. I don't know about asymptotic AdS.

Confirming cases are listed and discussed in the 1994 paper by Alain Connes and Carlo Rovelli.

The RATIO of T-time to local observer time can be given a physical meaning, which is kind of interesting---a general relativistic temperature identified by Tolman around 1930. There's a link to the Smerlak Rovelli paper about that also in post #2, I think.
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...23#post4209223
 P: 441 Still taking time to follow the threads here about time :). I also enjoyed the Matteo Smerlak clip but I got deeply disappointed that it was only 15 min :(. If anyone knows any link to the full clip, I would be very happy. This topic is very interesting; although I find it quite abstract and difficult, I have a feeling that I am slowly understanding more about it as I go along. I hope... .
Astronomy
PF Gold
P: 22,803
 Quote by DennisN I also enjoyed the Matteo Smerlak clip but I got deeply disappointed that it was only 15 min :(. If anyone knows any link to the full clip, I would be very happy...
I was disappointed too, by it not being complete. I'm glad you enjoyed what we have of the talk however! There is a complete 54 minute video of a 2010 talk by Smerlak about related topics, that he gave at Perimeter Institute.

A typical way to get talks at the Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive is to simply google "pirsa smerlak" or pirsa with the name of the speaker.

If you try it please let me know if the video works, usually they do. I get it fine on my computer. It is available in several formats from PIRSA but I use the "flash" format.

The talk is November 2010 so over 2 years old and that makes a difference. But it is still pretty good, I think. When you google "pirsa smerlak" you get
http://pirsa.org/10110071/
 Astronomy Sci Advisor PF Gold P: 22,803 As a reminder: http://vimeo.com/33363491 It was reported earlier this month that Matteo Smerlak has accepted a postdoc at Perimeter Institute starting 2013. I think there is a shift of attention towards the relation between QG (quantum geometry) and THERMODYNAMICS. For example Stefano Liberati has been working on that angle all along as has Ted Jacobson of course, and Goffredo Chirco (a Liberati PhD and co-author) has just accepted a Marseille postdoc position, starting 2013. Because of the growing interest in QG+Thermo, Tomita flow time is a key idea. It is the only observer-independent time that we have in full GR. I don't mean when there is a prior fixed curved space-time, but rather the full dynamical geometry and matter. There is no other way to do fully general covariant statistical mechanics, which requires some kind of time.
 P: 165 ﻿I'm still struggling with the concept of an observer-independent time. Before relativity, physics theories and the measured quantities that they inter-relate were assumed to be observer-independent. Neither time, distance or temperature were thought to depend on the state of motion or the mass/energy environment of the observer. But the advent of general relativity confined observer-independence to the theories that rule the inter-relation of measurements. Measurements of time, distance and temperature were revealed to be observer-dependent features of observer-independent theory. This dichotomy has amply been confirmed by prediction and observation. Where does thermal/Tomita time fit into this scheme? For instance, defining thermal time as the logarithm of change (Marcus' post #20) seems to imply that in a perfectly symmetric invariant world (no change whatever; ratio of repeated measurements always 1), thermal time would not flow (log 1 = 0). But we do live in a world of fundamental theory assumed to be perfectly symmetric, the same everywhere and everywhen, invariant and involving invariant constants like c and h. Is the flow of thermal time engendered only by the changes of observer-dependent measured quantities, like clock time, distance and temperature --- by observer-dependent solutions to observer-independent equations?

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