Boltzmann's time bomb

Abstract
Since the late nineteenth century, physics has been puzzled by the time-asymmetry of thermodynamic phenomena in the light of the apparent T-symmetry of the underlying laws of mechanics. However, a compelling solution to this puzzle has proved elusive. In part, I argue, this can be attributed to a failure to distinguish two conceptions of the problem. According to one, the main focus of our attention is a time-asymmetric lawlike generalisation. According to the other, it is a particular fact about the early universe. This paper aims (i) to distinguish these two different conceptions of the time-asymmetric explanandum in thermodynamics; (ii) to argue in favour of the latter; and (iii) to show that whichever we choose, our rational expectations about the thermodynamic behaviour of the future must depend on what we know about the past: contrary to the common view, statistical arguments alone do not give us good reason to expect that entropy will always continue to increase.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/53.1.83
Options
 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: 19,608
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

No references found.

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.
Jill North (2010). An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):27-40.
C. D. McCoy (2015). Does Inflation Solve the Hot Big Bang Model׳s Fine-Tuning Problems? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 51:23-36.
Huw Price (2002). Burbury's Last Case: The Mystery of the Entropic Arrow. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 50:19-56.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

84 ( #46,748 of 1,789,801 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

21 ( #38,217 of 1,789,801 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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