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Abstract: Consuming a fuel at the individual particle level, active matter shows rich physical behaviors from collective motion to phase separation and serves as the focal point for addressing fundamental questions in nonequilibrium physics, ecology as well as animal behavior. Despite the diverse phenomena observed from active matter, they all share a common feature of breaking the fundamental symmetry of time reversal. Understanding this arrow of time is essential to unveil the complex behaviors of active matter, separating them from their equilibrium counterparts. In today’s talk, I am going to present different metrics to quantify this elementary asymmetry of forward and backward processes and demonstrate what new physics we could learn from irreversibility by applying these metrics to various biological systems.