Infinite Idealizations


Authors
John D. Norton
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
1. Approximations of arbitrarily large but finite systems are often mistaken for infinite idealizations in statistical and thermal physics. The problem is illustrated by thermodynamically reversible processes. They are approximations of processes requiring arbitrarily long, but finite times to complete, not processes requiring an actual infinity of time.2. The present debate over whether phase transitions comprise a failure of reduction is confounded by a confusion of two senses of “level”: the molecular versus the thermodynamic level and the few component versus the many component level
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-01899-7_14
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References found in this work BETA

More is Different.P. W. Anderson - 1994 - In H. Gutfreund & G. Toulouse (eds.), Biology and Computation: A Physicist's Choice. World Scientific. pp. 3--21.
Critical Phenomena and Breaking Drops: Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Robert Batterman - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):225-244.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Impossible Process: Thermodynamic Reversibility.John D. Norton - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 55:43-61.

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