# Is it true that positrons run down the time, and electrons run up the time?

#### The short answer is no they don't. The idea that positrons go one way in time and electrons go the other way comes from a comment made by Richard Feynman. He said that a positron going forward in time looks like an electron going backward in time.

**Feynman diagrams are diagrams used by particle
physicists to help them determine particle interactions. The graphic
on this page is an example of one. In them, one can draw what looks
like a particle going backward in time, but this does not mean that it
actually does! No one has ever observed particles travelling backward
in time.**

**Part of the problem is that it is unclear what is meant by the
direction of
time. Most agree that the forward direction of time is the direction
of increasing "entropy". Entropy is a term used to describe the amount
of disorder in a system. Entropy applies only to systems of large
numbers
of particles. **

**Think of a china cup sitting on a table. The cup has a
certain amount of entropy. If the cup falls off the table and crashes
on the floor and breaks into little bits, the amount of entropy has
increased.
The direction of time is said to be the direction of
increasing
entropy because we would never see a broken cup jumping up
off the
floor and reassembling itself on the table. But, at the individual
particle level there is no entropy and therefore no specific direction to
time. (So maybe positrons really are electrons going backward in
time???)**

Submitted by Gougeon (Lyon, France)

(November 27, 1997)