Reversion as the Realization of Negentropic Processes in the Macroscopic Realm

Performance on 23 June 1992, exhibition Nos Sciences Naturelles, Centre d'Art Contemporain FRI-ART, Fribourg

This work was initially conceived as a performance with chalk drawings on a school chalkboard and was later also presented in the form of an installation. Contrary to the widespread and generally valid experience of the irreversibility of time, both in classical physics and in modern particle physics, the work boldly points to the fact that one may assume, as a basic principle, the reversibility of physical processes. Roland Zoschka, a fictive scientist, had intended to perform a series of experiments: A drinking glass destroyed by sound waves was to be brought back into its original state by a procedure called “reversion”. In her experiment titled Resonance on a Wineglass, Nana Petzet, supported by the nuclear physicist Jean-Claude Dousse from the University of Fribourg, was able to demonstrate the destruction process, whereas its reversion – or rather the realization of a negentropic process on the macroscopic level – appeared to be possible before the backdrop of a thermodynamic definition of entropy. For in a statistic description of reality, as is paradigmatic in modern physics, even the most improbable case cannot be excluded or eliminated.

-1 1 Experimental setup Resonance on a Wine Glass, panel drawing Maxwell’s Demon, exhibition Nos Sciences Naturelles, Centre d’Art Contemporain FRI-ART, Fribourg, 30 May 1992. -1 2 Nana Petzet gives a lecture on time reversal, panel drawing Zoschka’s Glass Experiment, exhibition Nos Sciences Naturelles, Centre d’Art Contemporain FRI-ART, Fribourg, 30 May 1992

3 4 5 6 -1 7 Nana Petzet and the nuclear physicist Jean Claude Dousse discussing the possibilities of time reversal, Université de Fribourg, 1992

Ill. 1, 2, 7, photos: Eliane Laubscher
Ill. 4-6, photos: Quirin Leppert