Authors
Miklós Rédei
London School of Economics
John Earman
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
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 behaviour must ensure that the approach to equilibrium for these observables is on the appropriate time-scale.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/47.1.63
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The “Past Hypothesis”: Not Even False.John Earman - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (3):399-430.
Compendium of the Foundations of Classical Statistical Physics.Jos Uffink - 2005 - In Jeremy Butterfield & John Earman (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Physics. Elsevier.
The Ergodic Hierarchy, Randomness and Hamiltonian Chaos.Joseph Berkovitz, Roman Frigg & Fred Kronz - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (4):661-691.
Boltzmann and Gibbs: An Attempted Reconciliation.D. A. Lavis - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):245-273.

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