Foundations of Physics 45 (4):404-438 (2015)

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Abstract
It has been a longstanding problem to show how the irreversible behaviour of macroscopic systems can be reconciled with the time-reversal invariance of these same systems when considered from a microscopic point of view. A result by Lanford shows that, under certain conditions, the famous Boltzmann equation, describing the irreversible behaviour of a dilute gas, can be obtained from the time-reversal invariant Hamiltonian equations of motion for the hard spheres model. Here, we examine how and in what sense Lanford’s theorem succeeds in deriving this remarkable result. Many authors have expressed different views on the question which of the ingredients in Lanford’s theorem is responsible for the emergence of irreversibility. We claim that these interpretations miss the target. In fact, we argue that there is no time-asymmetric ingredient at all
Keywords Statistical mechanics  Irreversibility  Time-reversal invariance  Lanford
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DOI 10.1007/s10701-015-9871-z
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References found in this work BETA

The Approach Towards Equilibrium in Lanford’s Theorem.Giovanni Valente - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (3):309-335.
Is There a Reversibility Paradox? Recentering the Debate on the Thermodynamic Time Arrow.Alon Drory - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):889-913.
Is There a Reversibility Paradox? Recentering the Debate on the Thermodynamic Time Arrow.Alon Drory - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):889-913.

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Citations of this work BETA

Calling for explanation: the case of the thermodynamic past state.Dan Baras & Orly Shenker - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-20.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Psychological Arrow of Time.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Information vs. entropy vs. probability.Orly Shenker - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-25.

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