Search results for 'Statistical Mechanics' (try it on Scholar)

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  1.  48
    Lawrence Sklar (1993). Physics and Chance: Philosophical Issues in the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics. Cambridge University Press.
    Statistical mechanics is one of the crucial fundamental theories of physics, and in his new book Lawrence Sklar, one of the pre-eminent philosophers of physics, offers a comprehensive, non-technical introduction to that theory and to attempts to understand its foundational elements. Among the topics treated in detail are: probability and statistical explanation, the basic issues in both equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, the role of cosmology, the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics, and (...)
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  2.  72
    Massimiliano Badino, How Typical! An Epistemological Analysis of Typicality in Statistical Mechanics.
    The recent use of typicality in statistical mechanics for foundational purposes has stirred an important debate involving both philosophers and physicists. While this debate customarily focuses on technical issues, in this paper I try to approach the problem from an epistemological angle. The discussion is driven by two questions: (1) What does typicality add to the concept of measure? (2) What kind of explanation, if any, does typicality yield? By distinguishing the notions of `typicality-as-vast-majority' and `typicality-as-best-exemplar', I argue (...)
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  3.  6
    Domagoj Kuić (forthcoming). Predictive Statistical Mechanics and Macroscopic Time Evolution: Hydrodynamics and Entropy Production. Foundations of Physics:1-24.
    In the previous papers, it was demonstrated that applying the principle of maximum information entropy by maximizing the conditional information entropy, subject to the constraint given by the Liouville equation averaged over the phase space, leads to a definition of the rate of entropy change for closed Hamiltonian systems without any additional assumptions. Here, we generalize this basic model and, with the introduction of the additional constraints which are equivalent to the hydrodynamic continuity equations, show that the results obtained are (...)
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  4. Wayne C. Myrvold (forthcoming). Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics. In Christopher Hitchcock & Alan Hájek (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford University Press
    This chapter will review selected aspects of the terrain of discussions about probabilities in statistical mechanics (with no pretensions to exhaustiveness, though the major issues will be touched upon), and will argue for a number of claims. None of the claims to be defended is entirely original, but all deserve emphasis. The first, and least controversial, is that probabilistic notions are needed to make sense of statistical mechanics. The reason for this is the same reason that (...)
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  5.  28
    Valia Allori (2013). Book Review Of: The Road to Maxwell's Demon: Conceptual Foundations of Statistical Mechanics. [REVIEW] International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):453-456.
    Book review of Meir Hemmo and Orly Shenker's book "The Road to Maxwell's Demon: Conceptual Foundations of Statistical Mechanics.".
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  6.  41
    Müge Ozman (2005). Interactions in Economic Models: Statistical Mechanics and Networks. [REVIEW] Mind and Society 4 (2):223-238.
    During the last decade, the interaction based models have received increased attention in economics, mainly with the recognition that modeling aggregate patterns of behavior requires viewing individuals in their social environments continuously in interaction with each other. The existing literature suggests that statistical mechanics tools can be useful to model interactions among economic agents. In addition to statistical mechanics, the network approach has also gained popularity, as is evident in the rising attention attributed to small world (...)
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  7. Robert C. Bishop (2004). Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics Brussels–Austin Style. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (1):1-30.
    The fundamental problem on which Ilya Prigogine and the Brussels–Austin Group have focused can be stated briefly as follows. Our observations indicate that there is an arrow of time in our experience of the world (e.g., decay of unstable radioactive atoms like uranium, or the mixing of cream in coffee). Most of the fundamental equations of physics are time reversible, however, presenting an apparent conflict between our theoretical descriptions and experimental observations. Many have thought that the observed arrow of time (...)
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  8. Gerhard Ernst & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.) (2010). Time, Chance and Reduction: Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics. Cambridge University Press.
    Statistical mechanics attempts to explain the behaviour of macroscopic physical systems in terms of the mechanical properties of their constituents. Although it is one of the fundamental theories of physics, it has received little attention from philosophers of science. Nevertheless, it raises philosophical questions of fundamental importance on the nature of time, chance and reduction. Most philosophical issues in this domain relate to the question of the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics. This book addresses issues (...)
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  9. Craig Callender (1999). Reducing Thermodynamics to Statistical Mechanics: The Case of Entropy. Journal of Philosophy 96 (7):348-373.
  10. Craig Callender (2011). Hot and Heavy Matters in the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 41 (6):960-981.
    Are the generalizations of classical equilibrium thermodynamics true of self-gravitating systems? This question has not been addressed from a foundational perspective, but here I tackle it through a study of the “paradoxes” commonly said to afflict such systems. My goals are twofold: (a) to show that the “paradoxes” raise many questions rarely discussed in the philosophical foundations literature, and (b) to counter the idea that these “paradoxes” spell the end for gravitational equilibrium thermodynamics.
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  11.  9
    Robert C. Bishop (2004). Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics Brussels–Austin Style. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 35 (1):1-30.
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  12. A. V. Shelest (1966). Statistical Mechanics of Irreversible Processes. [Kiev, Naukova Dumka].
     
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  13.  73
    Sheldon Goldstein, Boltzmann's Approach to Statistical Mechanics.
    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, (...)
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  14. Peter B. M. Vranas (1998). Epsilon-Ergodicity and the Success of Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics. Philosophy of Science 65 (4):688-708.
    Why does classical equilibrium statistical mechanics work? Malament and Zabell (1980) noticed that, for ergodic dynamical systems, the unique absolutely continuous invariant probability measure is the microcanonical. Earman and Rédei (1996) replied that systems of interest are very probably not ergodic, so that absolutely continuous invariant probability measures very distant from the microcanonical exist. In response I define the generalized properties of epsilon-ergodicity and epsilon-continuity, I review computational evidence indicating that systems of interest are epsilon-ergodic, I adapt Malament (...)
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  15.  53
    Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer (2015). The Best Humean System for Statistical Mechanics. Erkenntnis 80 (3):551-574.
    Classical statistical mechanics posits probabilities for various events to occur, and these probabilities seem to be objective chances. This does not seem to sit well with the fact that the theory’s time evolution is deterministic. We argue that the tension between the two is only apparent. We present a theory of Humean objective chance and show that chances thus understood are compatible with underlying determinism and provide an interpretation of the probabilities we find in Boltzmannian statistical (...). (shrink)
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  16. David Wallace, Implications of Quantum Theory in the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics.
    An investigation is made into how the foundations of statistical mechanics are affected once we treat classical mechanics as an approximation to quantum mechanics in certain domains rather than as a theory in its own right; this is necessary if we are to understand statistical-mechanical systems in our own world. Relevant structural and dynamical differences are identified between classical and quantum mechanics (partly through analysis of technical work on quantum chaos by other authors). These (...)
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  17.  86
    John Earman & Miklós Rédei (1996). Why Ergodic Theory Does Not Explain the Success of Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):63-78.
    We argue that, contrary to some analyses in the philosophy of science literature, ergodic theory falls short in explaining the success of classical equilibrium statistical mechanics. Our claim is based on the observations that dynamical systems for which statistical mechanics works are most likely not ergodic, and that ergodicity is both too strong and too weak a condition for the required explanation: one needs only ergodic-like behaviour for the finite set of observables that matter, but the (...)
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  18.  79
    Roman Frigg, A Field Guide to Recent Work on the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics.
    This is an extensive review of recent work on the foundations of statistical mechanics.
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  19. Charlotte Werndl (2013). Justifying Typicality Measures of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics and Dynamical Systems. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 44 (4):470-479.
    A popular view in contemporary Boltzmannian statistical mechanics is to interpret the measures as typicality measures. In measure-theoretic dynamical systems theory measures can similarly be interpreted as typicality measures. However, a justification why these measures are a good choice of typicality measures is missing, and the paper attempts to fill this gap. The paper first argues that Pitowsky's justification of typicality measures does not fit the bill. Then a first proposal of how to justify typicality measures is presented. (...)
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  20. Roman Frigg, Probability in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics.
    In two recent papers Barry Loewer (2001, 2004) has suggested to interpret probabilities in statistical mechanics as Humean chances in David Lewis’ (1994) sense. I first give a precise formulation of this proposal, then raise two fundamental objections, and finally conclude that these can be overcome only at the price of interpreting these probabilities epistemically.
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  21.  61
    Roman Frigg (2008). Chance in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):670-681.
    In two recent papers Barry Loewer ( 2001 , 2004 ) has suggested to interpret probabilities in statistical mechanics as chances in David Lewis’s ( 1994 ) sense. I first give a precise formulation of this proposal, then raise two fundamental objections, and finally conclude that these can be overcome only at the price of interpreting these probabilities epistemically. †To contact the author, please write to: Roman Frigg, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics, (...)
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  22.  35
    Roman Frigg (2008). Chance in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):670-681.
    Consider a gas that is adiabatically isolated from its environment and confined to the left half of a container. Then remove the wall separating the two parts. The gas will immediately start spreading and soon be evenly distributed over the entire available space. The gas has approached equilibrium. Thermodynamics (TD) characterizes this process in terms of an increase of thermodynamic entropy, which attains its maximum value at equilibrium. The second law of thermodynamics captures the irreversibility of this process by positing (...)
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  23.  79
    Stephen Leeds (2003). Foundations of Statistical Mechanics—Two Approaches. Philosophy of Science 70 (1):126-144.
    This paper is a discussion of David Albert's approach to the foundations of classical statistical menchanics. I point out a respect in which his account makes a stronger claim about the statistical mechanical probabilities than is usually made, and I suggest what might be motivation for this. I outline a less radical approach, which I attribute to Boltzmann, and I give some reasons for thinking that this approach is all we need, and also the most we are likely (...)
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  24. Janneke van Lith (2001). Ergodic Theory, Interpretations of Probability and the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):581--94.
    The traditional use of ergodic theory in the foundations of equilibrium statistical mechanics is that it provides a link between thermodynamic observables and microcanonical probabilities. First of all, the ergodic theorem demonstrates the equality of microcanonical phase averages and infinite time averages (albeit for a special class of systems, and up to a measure zero set of exceptions). Secondly, one argues that actual measurements of thermodynamic quantities yield time averaged quantities, since measurements take a long time. The combination (...)
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  25.  39
    Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg (2015). Reconceptualising Equilibrium in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics and Characterising its Existence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49:19-31.
    In Boltzmannian statistical mechanics macro-states supervene on micro-states. This leads to a partitioning of the state space of a system into regions of macroscopically indistinguishable micro-states. The largest of these regions is singled out as the equilibrium region of the system. What justifies this association? We review currently available answers to this question and find them wanting both for conceptual and for technical reasons. We propose a new conception of equilibrium and prove a mathematical theorem which establishes in (...)
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  26. D. Bohm & B. J. Hiley (1996). Statistical Mechanics and the Ontological Interpretation. Foundations of Physics 26 (6):823-846.
    To complete our ontological interpretation of quantum theory we have to conclude a treatment of quantum statistical mechanics. The basic concepts in the ontological approach are the particle and the wave function. The density matrix cannot play a fundamental role here. Therefore quantum statistical mechanics will require a further statistical distribution over wave functions in addition to the distribution of particles that have a specified wave function. Ultimately the wave function of the universe will he (...)
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  27. Amit Hagar (2005). Discussion: The Foundations of Statistical Mechanics--Questions and Answers. Philosophy of Science 72 (3):468-478.
    Huw Price (1996, 2002, 2003) argues that causal-dynamical theories that aim to explain thermodynamic asymmetry in time are misguided. He points out that in seeking a dynamical factor responsible for the general tendency of entropy to increase, these approaches fail to appreciate the true nature of the problem in the foundations of statistical mechanics (SM). I argue that it is Price who is guilty of misapprehension of the issue at stake. When properly understood, causal-dynamical approaches in the foundations (...)
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  28. Jagdish Mehra (1998). Josiah Willard Gibbs and the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 28 (12):1785-1815.
    In this study, I discuss the development of the ideas of Josiah Willard Gibbs' Elementary Principles in Statistical Mechanics and the fundamental role they played in forming the modern concepts in that field. Gibbs' book on statistical mechanics became an instant classic and has remained so for almost a century.
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  29.  74
    Robert W. Batterman (1998). Why Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics Works: Universality and the Renormalization Group. Philosophy of Science 65 (2):183-208.
    Discussions of the foundations of Classical Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics (SM) typically focus on the problem of justifying the use of a certain probability measure (the microcanonical measure) to compute average values of certain functions. One would like to be able to explain why the equilibrium behavior of a wide variety of distinct systems (different sorts of molecules interacting with different potentials) can be described by the same averaging procedure. A standard approach is to appeal to ergodic theory to (...)
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  30. L. Burakovsky & L. P. Horwitz (1995). Generalized Boltzmann Equation in a Manifestly Covariant Relativistic Statistical Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 25 (9):1335-1358.
    We consider the relativistic statistical mechanics of an ensemble of N events with motion in space-time parametrized by an invariant “historical time” τ. We generalize the approach of Yang and Yao, based on the Wigner distribution functions and the Bogoliubov hypotheses to find approximate dynamical equations for the kinetic state of any nonequilibrium system, to the relativistic case, and obtain a manifestly covariant Boltzmann- type equation which is a relativistic generalization of the Boltzmann-Uehling-Uhlenbeck (BUU) equation for indistinguishable particles. (...)
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  31. L. Burakovsky (1998). Relativistic Statistical Mechanics and Particle Spectroscopy. Foundations of Physics 28 (10):1577-1594.
    The formulation of manifestly covariant relativistic statistical mechanics as the description of an ensemble of events in spacetime parametrized by an invariant proper-time τ is reviewed. The linear and cubic mass spectra, which result from this formulation (the latter with the inclusion of anti-events) as the actual spectra of an individual hadronic multiplet and hot hadronic matter, respectively, are discussed. These spectra allow one to predict the masses of particles nucleated to quasi-levels in such an ensemble. As an (...)
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  32.  15
    C. D. McCoy, An Alternative Interpretation of Probability Measures in Statistical Mechanics.
    I offer an alternative interpretation of classical statistical mechanics and the role of probability in the theory. In my view the stochasticity of statistical mechanics is associated directly with the observables rather than microstates. This view requires taking seriously the idea that the physical state of a statistical mechanical system is a probability measure, thereby avoiding the unnecessary ontological presupposition that the system is composed of a large number of classical particles.
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  33. Wayne C. Myrvold, Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics: What Are They?
    This paper addresses the question of how we should regard the probability distributions introduced into statistical mechanics. It will be argued that it is problematic to take them either as purely ontic, or purely epistemic. I will propose a third alternative: they are almost objective probabilities, or epistemic chances. The definition of such probabilities involves an interweaving of epistemic and physical considerations, and thus they cannot be classified as either purely epistemic or purely ontic. This conception, it will (...)
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  34.  92
    Eduard Prugovečki (1979). Stochastic Phase Spaces and Master Liouville Spaces in Statistical Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 9 (7-8):575-587.
    The concept of probability space is generalized to that of stochastic probability space. This enables the introduction of representations of quantum mechanics on stochastic phase spaces. The resulting formulation of quantum statistical mechanics in terms of Γ-distribution functions bears a remarkable resemblance to its classical counterpart. Furthermore, both classical and quantum statistical mechanics can be formulated in one and the same master Liouville space overL 2(Γ). A joint derivation of a classical and quantum Boltzman equation (...)
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  35. Janneke van Lith (1999). Reconsidering the Concept of Equilibrium in Classical Statistical Mechanics. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):118.
    In the usual procedure of deriving equilibrium thermodynamics from classical statistical mechanics, Gibbsian fine-grained entropy is taken as the analogue of thermodynamical entropy. However, it is well known that the fine-grained entropy remains constant under the Hamiltonian flow. In this paper it is argued that we need not search for alternatives for fine-grained entropy, nor do we have to reject Hamiltonian dynamics, in order to solve the problem of the constancy of fine-grained entropy and, more generally, to account (...)
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  36.  84
    H. Atmanspacher & H. Scheingraber (1987). A Fundamental Link Between System Theory and Statistical Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 17 (9):939-963.
    A fundamental link between system theory and statistical mechanics has been found to be established by the Kolmogorov entropy K. By this quantity the temporal evolution of dynamical systems can be classified into regular, chaotic, and stochastic processes. Since K represents a measure for the internal information creation rate of dynamical systems, it provides an approach to irreversibility. The formal relationship to statistical mechanics is derived by means of an operator formalism originally introduced by Prigogine. For (...)
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  37. Eric Winsberg (2008). Laws, Chances, and Statistical Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):872.
    Statistical Mechanics (SM) involves probabilities. At the same time, most approaches to the foundations of SM—programs whose goal is to understand the macroscopic laws of thermal physics from the point of view of microphysics—are classical; they begin with the assumption that the underlying dynamical laws that govern the microscopic furniture of the world are (or can without loss of generality be treated as) deterministic. This raises some potential puzzles about the proper interpretation of these probabilities. It also raises, (...)
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  38. Janneke van Lith (2001). Ergodic Theory, Interpretations of Probability and the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (4):581-594.
    The traditional use of ergodic theory in the foundations of equilibrium statistical mechanics is that it provides a link between thermodynamic observables and microcanonical probabilities. First of all, the ergodic theorem demonstrates the equality of microcanonical phase averages and infinite time averages (albeit for a special class of systems, and up to a measure zero set of exceptions). Secondly, one argues that actual measurements of thermodynamic quantities yield time averaged quantities, since measurements take a long time. The combination (...)
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  39.  81
    A. P. Bakulev, N. N. Bogolubov Jr & A. M. Kurbatov (1986). The Principle of Thermodynamic Equivalence in Statistical Mechanics: The Method of Approximating Hamiltonian. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 16 (1):71-71.
    We discuss the main ideas that lie at the foundations of the approximating Hamiltonian method (AHM) in statistical mechanics. The principal constraints for model Hamiltonians to be investigated by AHM are considered along with the main results obtainable by this method. We show how it is possible to enlarge the class of model Hamiltonians solvable by AHM with the help of an example of the BCS-type model.
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  40.  18
    Rinat M. Nugayev (2000). Early Quantum Theory Genesis: Reconciliation of Maxwellian Electrodynamics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. Annales de la Fondation Louis de Broglie 25 (3-4):337-362.
    Genesis of the early quantum theory represented by Planck’s 1897-1906 papers is considered. It is shown that the first quantum theoretical schemes were constructed as crossbreed ones composed from ideal models and laws of Maxwellian electrodynamics, Newtonian mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Ludwig Boltzmann’s ideas and technique appeared to be crucial. Deriving black-body radiation law Max Planck had to take the experimental evidence into account. It forced him not to deduce from phenomena but to use more theory (...)
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  41.  70
    Adonai S. Sant'Anna & Alexandre M. S. Santos (2000). Quasi-Set-Theoretical Foundations of Statistical Mechanics: A Research Program. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 30 (1):101-120.
    Quasi-set theory provides us a mathematical background for dealing with collections of indistinguishable elementary particles. In this paper, we show how to obtain the usual statistics (Maxwell–Boltzmann, Bose–Einstein, and Fermi–Dirac) into the scope of quasi-set theory. We also show that, in order to derive Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics, it is not necessary to assume that the particles are distinguishable or individuals. In other words, Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics is possible even in an ensamble of indistinguishable particles, at least from the theoretical point of view. (...)
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  42.  72
    Eric Winsberg (2004). Laws and Statistical Mechanics. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):707-718.
    This paper explores some connections between competing conceptions of scientific laws on the one hand, and a problem in the foundations of statistical mechanics on the other. I examine two proposals for understanding the time asymmetry of thermodynamic phenomenal: David Albert's recent proposal and a proposal that I outline based on Hans Reichenbach's “branch systems”. I sketch an argument against the former, and mount a defense of the latter by showing how to accommodate statistical mechanics to (...)
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  43.  14
    K. Ridderbos (2002). The Coarse-Graining Approach to Statistical Mechanics: How Blissful is Our Ignorance? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 33 (1):65-77.
    In this paper I first argue that the objection which is most commonly levelled against the coarse-graining approach-viz. that it introduces an element of subjectivity into what ought to be a purely objective formalism-is ultimately unfounded. I then proceed to argue that two different objections to the coarse-graining approach indicate that it is an inadequate approach to statistical mechanics. The first objection is based on the fact that the appeal to appearances by the coarse-graining approach fails to justify (...)
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  44.  46
    Roman Frigg (2009). Typicality and the Approach to Equilibrium in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):997-1008.
    An important contemporary version of Boltzmannian statistical mechanics explains the approach to equilibrium in terms of typicality. The problem with this approach is that it comes in different versions, which are, however, not recognized as such and not clearly distinguished. This article identifies three different versions of typicality‐based explanations of thermodynamic‐like behavior and evaluates their respective successes. The conclusion is that the first two are unsuccessful because they fail to take the system's dynamics into account. The third, however, (...)
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  45. D. Parker (2011). Information-Theoretic Statistical Mechanics Without Landauer's Principle. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (4):831-856.
    This article distinguishes two different senses of information-theoretic approaches to statistical mechanics that are often conflated in the literature: those relating to the thermodynamic cost of computational processes and those that offer an interpretation of statistical mechanics where the probabilities are treated as epistemic. This distinction is then investigated through Earman and Norton’s ([1999]) ‘sound’ and ‘profound’ dilemma for information-theoretic exorcisms of Maxwell’s demon. It is argued that Earman and Norton fail to countenance a ‘sound’ information-theoretic (...)
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  46.  45
    Olimpia Lombardi (2003). El problema de la ergodicidad en la mecánica estadística (The Problem of Ergodicity in Statistical Mechanics). Critica 35 (103):3 - 41.
    El propósito del presente artículo es evaluar en qué sentido y bajo qué condiciones la ergodicidad es relevante para explicar el éxito de la mecánica estadística. Se objeta la positión de quienes sostienen que la ergodicidad es irrelevante para tal explicatión, y se señala que las propiedades ergódicas desempeñan diferentes papeles en la mecánica estadística del equilibrio y en la descriptión de la evolución hacia el equilibrio: es posible prescindir de la ergodicidad en el primer caso pero no en el (...)
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  47. Joseph E. Earley (2006). Some Philosophical Influences on Ilya Prigogine's Statistical Mechanics. Foundations of Chemistry 8 (3):271-283.
    During a long and distinguished career, Belgian physical chemist Ilya Prigogine (1917–2003) pursued a coherent research program in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and related scientific areas. The main goal of this effort was establishing the origin of thermodynamic irreversibility (the ‘‘arrow of time’’) as local (residing in the details of the interaction of interest), rather than as global (being solely a consequence of properties of the initial singularity – the ‘‘Big Bang’’). In many publications for general audiences, he (...)
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  48.  20
    Orly R. Shenker, Interventionism in Statistical Mechanics: Some Philosophical Remarks.
    Interventionism is an approach to the foundations of statistical mechanics which says that to explain and predict some of the thermodynamic phenomena we need to take into account the inescapable effect of environmental perturbations on the system of interest, in addition to the system's internal dynamics. The literature on interventionism suffers from a curious dual attitude: the approach is often mentioned as a possible framework for understanding statistical mechanics, only to be quickly and decidedly dismissed. The (...)
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  49.  45
    Orly R. Shenker & Meir Hemmo, Prediction and Retrodiction in Boltzmann's Approach to Classical Statistical Mechanics.
    In this paper we address two problems in Boltzmann's approach to statistical mechanics. The first is the justification of the probabilistic predictions of the theory. And the second is the inadequacy of the theory's retrodictions.
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  50.  8
    Wayne C. Myrvold, Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics: Subjective, Objective, or a Bit of Both?
    This paper addresses the question of how we should regard the probability distributions introduced into statistical mechanics. It will be argued that it is problematic to take them either as purely subjective credences, or as objective chances. I will propose a third alternative: they are "almost objective" probabilities, or "epistemic chances". The definition of such probabilities involves an interweaving of epistemic and physical considerations, and so cannot be classified as either purely subjective or purely objective. This conception, it (...)
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