Filon-Pearson demon

Running alone side a beam of light
An artistic rendition of the Filon-Pearson demon, a colleague of Maxwell's demon, with "intensified acuteness", that is able to run both at the speed of light and faster than the speed of light, conceived in large part by French-born English applied mathematician Louis Filon in circa 1898; and elaborated on by his mentor Karl Pearson in 1900; a thought experiment read by Albert Einstein in 1902, who states that he had contemplated a similar "running along side a beam of light" thought experiment in 1895. [2]
In scientific demons, the Filon-Pearson demon is a superluminal relativistic colleague of Maxwell’s demon.

In circa 1843 to 1853, an anonymous pamphlet, entitled “The Stars and the Earth: Thoughts on Space, Time, and Eternity”, appeared, that, according to John Poynting (1883), digressed on the physical possibility of the idea of “magnifying or reducing time”.

In 1898, Einstein contemplated his famous "running along side a beam of light" though experiment.

In circa 1898, the Filon-Pearson version of the demon was conceived by Louis Filon and described or rather elaborated on in more detail by Filon's mentor Karl Pearson in 1900 as follows: [1]

Irreversibility of natural processes is purely a relative conception. History goes forward or backward according to the relative motion of events and their observer. Conceive a colleague of Clerk Maxwell’s demon, gifted with an immensely intensified acuteness of sight so that he could watch from enormous distances the events of our earth. Now suppose him to travel away from our earth with a velocity greater than that of light. Clearly all natural processes and all of history would for him be reversed. Men would enter life by death, would grow younger and grow simpler, evolution would be reversed, and the earth, growing hotter and hotter, would at last become nebulous. Shortly, by motion to or form the earth, our demon could go forward or backward in history, or with one speed—that of light—live in an eternal now.”

Pearson concludes this footnote, by commenting that: “this conception of historical change and of time as a problem in relative motion was suggested to me by Louis Filon, and is, I think, of much interest from the standpoint of pure relativity of all phenomena.”

Of note, the above footnote comes from the expanded 1900 second edition. It could be remotely possible, that the above footnote is also found in the 1892 edition. This, however, seems doubtful, being that Filon completed his BA in 1896, meaning that he would have entered college in circa 1892, or thereabout, after which time he is said to have come into connect with Pearson.

Possibly related, or possibly completely independent, to the above, in 1916, American prodigy William Sidis, in his The Animate and the Inanimate, penned a similar second law themed reversibility theory of nature.

See also
‚óŹ Olympia Academy

1. Pearson, Karl. (1900). The Grammar of Science Note VII: On the Reversibility of Natural Processes, pg. 540). Publisher.
2. Faster than the speed of light (2011) –

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