# Entropy at the Beginning of Time, 1.2

Logical arrow of time, 10.2.2

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If at the beginning, the universe had a high entropy, it was at a macrostate corresponding to many indistinguishable microstates.

That description is self-contradictory, because “two macroscopically-indistinguishable microstates” is meaningful only if they were once macroscopically distinguishable before.

That is not possible for the state(s) at the beginning of the universe, because at that moment, there was no “before”.

So it is meaningless to label the universe’s beginning macrostate as “a state corresponding to many indistinguishable microstates”.

Instead, we should label the universe’s beginning state as “a state corresponding to one single microstate”.

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For example, assume that the universe was at the macrostate $\displaystyle{A}$ at the beginning; and the $\displaystyle{A}$ is corresponding to two macroscopically-indistinguishable microstates $\displaystyle{a_1}$ and $\displaystyle{a_2}$.

Although microstates $\displaystyle{a_1}$ and $\displaystyle{a_2}$ are macroscopically-indistinguishable, we can still label them as “two” microstates, because they have 2 different histories — history paths that are macroscopically distinguishable.

However, for the beginning of the universe, there was no history. So it is meaningless to label the state as “a macrostate with two (or more) possible microstates”.

So we should label that state not only as one single macrostate but also as one single microstate.

In other words, that state’s entropy value should be defined to be zero.

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If in some special situation, it is better to label the universe’s beginning state as “a state with non-zero entropy”, that state will still have the smallest possible entropy of the universe throughout history.

So it is not possible for the universe to have “a high entropy” at the beginning.

— Me@2022-01-08 02:38 PM

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# Entropy at the Beginning of Time, 1.1

Logical arrow of time, 10.2.1

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Two distinguishable macrostates can both evolve into one indistinguishable macrostate.

— Me@2013-08-11 11:08 AM

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Note that, tautologically, any system can be at only one single macrostate at any particular time.

So the statement actually means that it is possible for two identical systems at different macrostates evolve into the same later macrostate.

— Me@2022-01-08 03:12 PM

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But the opposite is not possible. Two indistinguishable macrostates is actually, by definition, one macrostate. It cannot evolve into two distinguishable macrostates.

One single macrostate is logically impossible to be corresponding to two different possible later macrostates.

— Me@2022-01-08 01:29 PM

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If the beginning universe state had a high entropy, by definition, it was at a macroscopic state with many possible macroscopically-indistinguishable microstates.

However, if it is really the state of the universe at the beginning, it is, by definition, a single microstate, because “different microstates” is meaningful only if they were once distinguishable.

— Me@2013-08-11 01:42 PM

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a macrostate = a set of macroscopically-indistinguishable microstates

— Me@2022-01-09 07:43 AM

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The meaning of “entropy increases” is that state $\displaystyle{S_1}$ and state $\displaystyle{S_2}$ both evolve into state $\displaystyle{S_3}$.

But for the beginning of the universe, there were no multiple possible macrostates that the beginning state could be evolved from.

— Me@2013-08-11 01:44 PM

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