Philosophy of Science 76 (5):970-983 (2009)

Authors
Kevin Davey
University of Chicago
Abstract
Although the canonical distribution is one of the central tools of statistical mechanics, the reason for its effectiveness is poorly understood. This is due in part to the fact that there is no clear consensus on what it means to use the canonical distribution to describe a system in equilibrium with a heat bath. I examine some traditional views as to what sort of thing we should take the canonical distribution to represent. I argue that a less explored alternative, according to which the canonical distribution represents a time ensemble of sorts, has a number of advantages that rival interpretations lack. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Chicago, 1115 E. 58th St., Chicago, IL 60637; e‐mail: kjdavey@uchicago.edu.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2009
DOI 10.1086/605793
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,016
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
73 ( #135,226 of 2,403,652 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #255,955 of 2,403,652 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes