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T Symmetry is the symmetry of physical laws under a time reversal transformation:

Although in restricted contexts one may find this symmetry, the observable universe itself does not show symmetry under time reversal, primarily due to the second law of thermodynamics.

Time asymmetries are generally distinguished as between those intrinsic to the dynamic laws of nature, and those due to the initial conditions of our universe. The T-asymmetry of the weak force is of the first kind, while the T-asymmetry of the second law of thermodynamics is of the second kind.



Physicists also discuss the time-reversal invariance of local and/or macroscopic descriptions of physical systems, independent of the invariance of the underlying microscopic physical laws. For example, Maxwell's equations with material absorption or Newtonian mechanics with friction are not time-reversal invariant at the macroscopic level where they are normally applied, even if they are invariant at the microscopic level when one includes the atomic motions the "lost" energy is translated into.

Macroscopic phenomena: the second law of thermodynamics

Our daily experience shows that T-symmetry does not hold for the behavior of bulk materials. Of these macroscopic laws, most notable is the second law of thermodynamics. Many other phenomena, such as the relative motion of bodies with friction, or viscous motion of fluids, reduce to this, because the underlying mechanism is the dissipation of usable energy (for example, kinetic energy) into heat.

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