Implications of quantum theory in the foundations of statistical mechanics

Abstract

An investigation is made into how the foundations of statistical mechanics are affected once we treat classical mechanics as an approximation to quantum mechanics in certain domains rather than as a theory in its own right; this is necessary if we are to understand statistical-mechanical systems in our own world. Relevant structural and dynamical differences are identified between classical and quantum mechanics (partly through analysis of technical work on quantum chaos by other authors). These imply that quantum mechanics significantly affects a number of foundational questions, including the nature of statistical probability and the direction of time.

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David Wallace
University of Pittsburgh

Citations of this work

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.
Taking particle physics seriously: A critique of the algebraic approach to quantum field theory.David Wallace - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):116-125.
Quantum probability from subjective likelihood: Improving on Deutsch's proof of the probability rule.David Wallace - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):311-332.

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References found in this work

Time and Chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Harvard University Press.
What is structural realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.

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