Why Gibbs Phase Averages Work—The Role of Ergodic Theory

Philosophy of Science 47 (3):339-349 (1980)
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Abstract

We propose an "explanation scheme" for why the Gibbs phase average technique in classical equilibrium statistical mechanics works. Our account emphasizes the importance of the Khinchin-Lanford dispersion theorems. We suggest that ergodicity does play a role, but not the one usually assigned to it

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Sandy Zabell
Northwestern University

Citations of this work

Compendium of the foundations of classical statistical physics.Jos Uffink - 2005 - In Jeremy Butterfield & John Earman (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Physics. Elsevier.
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What Are the New Implications of Chaos for Unpredictability?Charlotte Werndl - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):195-220.
Entropy - A Guide for the Perplexed.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-142.

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References found in this work

The Well-Posed Problem.Edwin T. Jaynes - 1973 - Foundations of Physics 3 (4):477-493.
Statistical explanation and ergodic theory.Lawrence Sklar - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 40 (2):194-212.
A partial vindication of ergodic theory.K. S. Friedman - 1976 - Philosophy of Science 43 (1):151-162.
The role of statistical mechanics in classical physics.David Lavis - 1977 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 28 (3):255-279.

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