Reduction of thermodynamics
Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||This paper aims: (1) to show that Lawrence Sklar`s recent attempt to reduce thermodynamics(TD) to statistical mechanics(SM) is fallacious in several respects; and (2) to suggest a broader conclusion that a more useful way of understanding the relationship between TD and SM is as collaboration and competition among alternative methodologies rather than reduction of one theory to another. To argue for (1), I discuss two cases (the distinction of intensive/extensive variables in TD and the existence of phase transitions) where TD is more accurate than statistical mechnaics and thus corrects SM. I also discuss the case of temperature in order to argue for both (1) and (2).|
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