Can We Explain Thermodynamics By Quantum Decoherence?

Can we explain the laws of thermodynamics, in particular the irreversible increase of entropy, from the underlying quantum mechanical dynamics? Attempts based on classical dynamics have all failed. Albert (1994a,b; 2000) proposed a way to recover thermodynamics on a purely dynamical basis, using the quantum theory of the collapse of the wavefunction of Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber (1986). In this paper we propose an alternative way to explain thermodynamics within no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics. Our approach relies on the standard quantum mechanical models of environmental decoherence of open systems, e.g. Joos and Zeh (1985) and Zurek and Paz (1994).
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/S1355-2198(01)00029-6
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Jos Uffink (2001). Bluff Your Way in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (3):305-394.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
John Earman (2006). The “Past Hypothesis”: Not Even False. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 37 (3):399-430.
Itamar Pitowsky (2001). Local Fluctuations and Local Observers in Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (4):595-607.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

83 ( #40,497 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.