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Why Typicality Does Not Explain the Approach to Equilibrium

Frigg, Roman (2010) Why Typicality Does Not Explain the Approach to Equilibrium. Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics (Mauricio Suárez (ed.)). pp. 77-93.

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Abstract

Why do systems prepared in a non-equilibrium state approach, and eventually reach, equilibrium? An important contemporary version of the Boltzmannian approach to statistical mechanics answers this question by an appeal to the notion of typicality. The problem with this approach is that it comes in different versions, which are, however, not recognised as such, much less clearly distinguished, and we often find different arguments pursued side by side. The aim of this paper is to disentangle different versions of typicality-based explanations of thermodynamic behaviour and evaluate their respective success. My conclusion will be that the boldest version fails for technical reasons, while more prudent versions leave unanswered essential questions.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Frigg, Romanr.p.frigg@lse.ac.uk
Keywords: Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics, typicality
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Roman Frigg
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 17:18
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2014 17:18
Item ID: 11213
Journal or Publication Title: Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics (Mauricio Suárez (ed.))
Publisher: Springer
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 2010
Page Range: pp. 77-93
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11213

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