David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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For more than a century, physics has known of a puzzling conﬂict between the T- asymmetry of thermodynamic phenomena and the T-symmetry of the underlying microphysics on which these phenomena depend. This paper provides a guide to the current status of this puzzle, distinguishing the central issue from various issues with which it may be confused. It is shown that there are two competing conceptions of what is needed to resolve the puzzle of the thermodynamic asymmetry, which diﬀer with respect to the number of distinct T-asymmetries they take to be manifest in the physical world. On the preferable one-asymmetry conception, the remaining puzzle concerns the ordered distribution of matter in the early universe. The puzzle of the thermodynamic arrow thus becomes a puzzle for cosmology.
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Citations of this work BETA
Harvey R. Brown, Wayne Myrvold & Jos Uffink (2009). Boltzmann's H-Theorem, its Discontents, and the Birth of Statistical Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 40 (2):174-191.
Alon Drory (2008). Is There a Reversibility Paradox? Recentering the Debate on the Thermodynamic Time Arrow. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (4):889-913.
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