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Can Somebody Please Say What Gibbsian Statistical Mechanics Says?

Frigg, Roman and Werndl, Charlotte (2018) Can Somebody Please Say What Gibbsian Statistical Mechanics Says? The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

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Abstract

Gibbsian statistical mechanics (GSM) is the most widely used version of statistical mechanics among working physicists. Yet a closer look at GSM reveals that it is unclear what the theory actually says and how it bears on experimental
practice. The root cause of the difficulties is the status of the Averaging Principle, the proposition that what we observe in an experiment is the ensemble average of a phase function. We review different stances toward this
principle, and eventually present a coherent interpretation of GSM that provides an account of the status and scope of the principle.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Frigg, Romanr.p.frigg@lse.ac.uk
Werndl, Charlottec.s.werndl@lse.ac.uk
Keywords: statistical mechanics, Gibbs, average, averaging principle, fluctuation, ergodicity, mixing, probabilism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Roman Frigg
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2018 22:55
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2018 22:55
Item ID: 14869
Journal or Publication Title: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Publisher: OUP
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14869

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