Boltzmann's Approach to Statistical Mechanics


Abstract
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, of its thermodynamic entropy with the Gibbs entropy of , and the invocation of the notions of ergodicity and mixing for the justification of the foundations of statistical mechanics – are thoroughly misguided.
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References found in this work BETA

The Emperor's New Mind.Roger Penrose - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
The Character of Physical Law. [REVIEW]P. K. H. - 1967 - Review of Metaphysics 21 (1):157-157.

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Citations of this work BETA

The “Past Hypothesis”: Not Even False.John Earman - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (3):399-430.
The Quantitative Content of Statistical Mechanics.David Wallace - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):285-293.

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