Brussels-Austin nonequilibrium statistical mechanics: Large poincar´e systems and rigged Hilbert space
|Abstract||The fundamental problem on which Ilya Prigogine and the Brussels- Austin Group have focused can be stated briefly as follows. Our observations indicate that there is an arrow of time in our experience of the world (e.g., decay of unstable radioactive atoms like Uranium, or the mixing of cream in coffee). Most of the fundamental equations of physics are time reversible, however, presenting an apparent conflict between our theoretical descriptions and experimental observations. Many have thought that the observed arrow of time was either an artifact of our observations or due to very special initial conditions. An alternative approach, followed by the Brussels-Austin Group, is to consider the observed direction of time to be a basic physical phenomenon due to the dynamics of physical systems. This essay focuses mainly on recent developments in the Brussels-Austin Group after the mid 1980s. The fundamental concerns are the same as in their earlier approaches (subdynamics, similarity transformations), but the contemporary approach utilizes rigged Hilbert space (whereas the older approaches used Hilbert space). While the emphasis on nonequilibrium statistical mechanics remains the same, their more recent approach addresses the physical features of large Poincar´.|
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