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Typicality and the approach to equilibrium in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics

By Roman Frigg


An important contemporary version of Boltzmannian statistical mechanics explains the approach to equilibrium in terms of typicality. The problem with this approach is that it comes in different versions, which are, however, not recognized as such and not clearly distinguished. This article identifies three different versions of typicality‐based explanations of thermodynamic‐like behavior and evaluates their respective successes. The conclusion is that the first two are unsuccessful because they fail to take the system's dynamics into account. The third, however, is promising. I give a precise formulation of the proposal and present an argument in support of its central contention

Topics: QC Physics
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1086/605800
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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