Boltzmann's Approach to Statistical Mechanics

Abstract
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Ludwig Boltzmann explained how irreversible macroscopic laws, in particular the second law of thermodynamics, originate in the time-reversible laws of microscopic physics. Boltzmann’s analysis, the essence of which I shall review here, is basically correct. The most famous criticisms of Boltzmann’s later work on the subject have little merit. Most twentieth century innovations – such as the identification of the state of a physical system with a probability distribution on its phase space, of its thermodynamic entropy with the Gibbs entropy of , and the invocation of the notions of ergodicity and mixing for the justification of the foundations of statistical mechanics – are thoroughly misguided.
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Citations of this work BETA
Jill North (2010). An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):27-40.
Charlotte Werndl (2013). Justifying Typicality Measures of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics and Dynamical Systems. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):470-479.
Sérgio B. Volchan (2007). Probability as Typicality. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (4):801-814.
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